Steel-cut oats Vs Rolled Oats 

Steel-cut oats Vs Rolled Oats 

In a fast-complexity-paced world, we need to make sure we make the right decisions when it comes to food choices. When we think about a healthy and tasty breakfast, the first thing that strikes our mind is “oats”. Both rolled oats and steel cut oats come from the same whole cereal grain. The difference between steel-cut and rolled oats is in the processing. Oats certainly hold healthy ground for many beneficial reasons. To know further about the difference between steel cut and rolled oats, the benefits of steel cut oats vs rolled oats, etc., go through the below section.

What are steel cut oats vs rolled oats?

Rolled oats 

It has a creamy texture, easy to cook time duration (10 mins) since it is pre-steamed. It also has a high glycemic index, making it best for baking purposes and oatmeal cooking recipe substitutions or oatmeal preparations.

Steel-cut oats     

When it comes to steel-cut oats having a chewy texture and thickness with a low glycemic index and a high cooking time duration (20 mins), it’s ideal for breakfast or a fiber-packed meal. 

What is the difference between steel cut and rolled oats?

Steel-cut oats and rolled oats are both made from the same whole cereal grain, but the processing methods differ, resulting in differences in texture, size, shape, cooking time, digestion rate, and usage.

Rolled oats

 Rolled oats Also known as Old Fashioned Oats, they are made by steaming the oat groats and rolling them flat between steel rollers, giving them a squashed round appearance with a variety of textures depending on the variety, and a creamy, soft texture when cooked. Because they have been partially cooked, they have a relatively mild flavour and a softer texture, and they take much less time to prepare than steel-cut oats. The cooking time is approximately 5- 10 minutes.

Steel-cut oats

 Also known as “Irish Oats”, they are produced by cutting the oat groats into smaller pieces, like pin size, using steel blades, & when cooked they have a chewy texture. Steel cut oats are coarser, chewier, and have a nuttier flavour than rolled or quick oats. It is more time-consuming to prepare, with average cooking times ranging from 15 to 30 minutes.

Benefits of steel-cut oats vs rolled oats

  •  As aforementioned, the distinct composition of oats, combined with their subsequent processing, contributes to the distinct organoleptic and nutrient experience associated with the consumption of oat products. However, the processing of the oats into consumer-acceptable foods can cause changes in their nutritional composition.
  • Heated extrusion has been shown to improve the functional properties of oat bran, resulting in more aggregates, higher gelatinisation temperature, higher solubility, swelling capacity, increased apparent viscosity, and a decrease in the flow behaviour index.
  • The latter two changes have been proposed to be beneficial, as they may contribute to a slower gut transit and the perception of satiety as being “fuller for longer.”
  • Both steel-cut oats and rolled oats are high in vitamin E & B, and also a source of unsaturated fats. 
  • The only difference between the two is that steel-cut oats have a low glycemic index and rolled oats have a high glycemic index.

How to add oats to your diet?

To turn oats into a more desirable food, the starch must be heated in the presence of water so that the water can move into the granule, causing it to swell and become soft. Quick-cooking oatmeal contains thinner oat flakes than regular (e.g., old-fashioned) oatmeal, allowing the starch to absorb water more quickly and thus reducing cooking time. Irish oatmeal contains steel-cut oats and thus requires the most time to cook.

Ready-to-eat Breakfast cereals are typically made from an oat flour batter and extruded (expanded) or rolled and baked. These products’ starch granules can easily absorb moisture and thus soften without cooking, such as when mixed with milk. Oats are also used to make granola, snack bars, cookies, and pancakes, as well as as an extender in meat products like black and white puddings, haggis, etc. 


Oats are highly nutritious and also have a variety of health benefits. When it comes to steel cut oats vs rolled oats, both are excellent sources of fiber, plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc. You can choose the best option that suits your diet plan depending upon cooking time, texture, and taste. As they are a great option at any time of day, including lunch and dinner.



Are steel-cut oats healthier than rolled oats?

 Steel-cut oats are healthy ideal for breakfast since they have low glycine levels and are also less processed with a chewier thick texture. Rolled Oats are best for baking purposes & oatmeal recipe substitutions with a soft texture.

What’s the difference between Rolled cut oats & steel cut oats? 

The former is called traditional oats having a high glycemic index created by steaming the oat groats & rolling them flat between the steel rollers giving them a flat appearance & the latter is also called Irish Oats produced by cutting the oat groats into smaller pieces with steel blades with a low glycemic index.

Can I substitute steel cut oats for rolled oats?

Steel cut oats can be replaced for rolled oats. Steel cut oats have a texture similar to rice or barley, so they require much more cooking than rolled oats. Cooking them necessitates the use of a different amount of liquid. Steel cut oats should not be used in recipes that call for rolled oats.

Are steel cut oats harder to digest than rolled oats?

The glycemic index of steel cut oats is lower than that of rolled oats. Steel cut oats take longer to digest than rolled oats because they are thicker, making it more difficult for digestive enzymes in the body to reach the starch in steel cut oats.

Which is healthier steel cut or rolled?

When it comes to nutritional value, rolled oats and steel cut oats are remarkably similar. Steel cut oats, on the other hand, beat out rolled oats in two areas: fibre content and density, making steel cut oats the best nutritional value.




 In vitro measurements of luminal viscosity and glucose/maltose bioaccessibility for oat bran, instant oats, and steel cut oats – ScienceDirect


The impact of dietary fibre intake on the physiology and health of the stomach and upper gastrointestinal tract – ScienceDirect



Snehal Joshi

Snehal is a Certified Nutrition Coach by National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is writing about her persuits of Nutrition Science since last 4 years.

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