Difference Between Quick Cooking Oats and Old Fashioned Oats

Oats are the seed obtained from a plant of the grass family named Avena Sativa. The outer layer is indigestible, known as oat fibers which are removed in processing. The Interior part of the seed consisting of oat bran, germ, and endosperm are called Oat Groat. Depending upon processing, cooking time, and flavor, oat groats can be of many types like steel-cut oats, rolled oats, quick-cooking oats, and instant oats.

Quick Cooking Oats vs Old Fashioned Oats

The main difference between quick-cooking oats and old-fashioned oats is the method of preparation. The quick-cooking oats are prepared by heating and rolling and take more time to prepare, whereas the old fashioned oats. Quick-cooking oats give a mushy texture, while old-fashioned oats give a mild and soft texture.

Quick Cooking Oats and Old Fashioned Oats

The process of making both oats start from oat groats. Quick-cooking oats are processed more into thin pieces. These are rolled into thin flat pieces and steamed for a longer time so the shelf life of oats can be increased. Quick-cooking oats are used in many baking dishes like cookies, muffins, etc.

Old fashioned oats or commonly called rolled oats are also rolled, steamed, and cut into flakes which are slightly larger than quick-cooking oats. Though nutrition value in both types of oats remains the same. These oats are thicker than quick-cooking oats.

Comparison Table Between Quick Cooking Oats and Old Fashioned Oats

Parameters of Comparison
Quick Cooking OatsOld Fashioned Oats
DefinitionType of oats which are prepared by heating, rolling, and cutting oat groats for more timeType of oats which are processed into flatter, slightly thicker flakes in less time
Cooking TimeThese oats take 3-5 minutes to prepareThese oats take 10-15 minutes to cook
of Rolling
These are rolled into thinner flakes.Their thickness is slightly more than quick-cooking oats
TextureGive a mushy texture to the dishThese oats give a mild, soft, and less mushy texture to the dish
Method of CookingThese oats are cooked partially by steamingThe oats are boiled

What are Quick Cooking Oats?

When hulls are removed from oats, kernels, or seeds, oat groats are obtained. Hulls are tough and indigestible parts of seeds that protect the seed of the oat plant. These oat groats are roasted at a low temperature so that their moisture content may reduce. Oats have a higher fat content which gets spoiled or rancid. The heating of oats reduces the fat content and increases the shelf life of oats.

Groats are unbroken grains of plants that take more time to cook, so there is a need for further processing. Two things are kept in mind while processing, which is enhancing the flavor and texture of oats and secondly decreasing the cooking time. After heating, oat groats are rolled into small, thin, flat pieces. Flat surfaces and reduced thickness make these oats easy to cook. Quick-cooking oats have a fine texture and give a mushy appearance to the dish.  

Cookies and other dishes made from quick-cooking oats have a smooth finer appearance due to their small size. These give a uniform texture to the product prepared by baking. It can be further changed into powdery form for other preparations also. Quick-cooking oats are used in many baking dishes like cookies, muffins, etc. These can also be used in making upma, dosa, smoothies, kheer, and khichdi. These are quite fulfilling, so they can be a good healthy option for breakfast in place of fried foods.

 What are Old Fashioned Oats?

The old-fashioned oats are also called regular oats or rolled oats. Their processing takes less time, so it can be stated that these are nearer to raw oats. It is the most basic type of oats which is easily available at a low price. The cooking time for these oats is 10-15 minutes. These give a mild, chewy texture to the dishes. These oats are not as thin as quacking cooking oats. These give a rougher texture to food items because oats are visible to the finished product. Old-fashioned oats look like irregular round flat discs. These types of oats need more water to become soft, and they retain their shape while cooking.

Oats are fiber-rich cereals and a good source of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Moreover, they can be a replacement for wheat for people having an intolerance to gluten which is the main ingredient in wheat and lacks in oats.

These look similar to Indian poha. They can be eaten in their natural form. Oats do not need rinsing with water and can be consumed as such. People who are in a hurry for jobs and colleges need a healthy and fulfilling meal at the start of the day. They can use oats as they take less time in cooking, and these are loaded with nutrients and fibers.

Main Differences Between Quick Cooking Oats and Old Fashioned Oats

  1. Quick-cooking oats are the third level of processing of oat groats, whereas old-fashioned oats are the second level of processing.
  2. Quick-cooking oats are cooked in a short period, while old-fashioned oats take more time in cooking.
  3. Quick-cooking oats have a soft powdery or mushy texture. On the other hand, old-fashioned oats have a rustic, coarse texture.
  4. Quick-cooking oats are small, thin flaky in appearance, whereas old-fashioned oats are a slightly thick and disc-shaped structure.
  5. Quick-cooking oats intermingle with the dish properly and give a pretty finish to the product, whereas old-fashioned oats can be seen in the dishes, thus giving an uneven surface of the food item.


The cereal grain oats are obtained from a plant of the grass family. The seeds of the plant Avena sativa looks like wheat but are different in various nutrients. Kernels of oat plants are dehusked to remove the inedible outer layer and then go through various processes like heating, roasting, cutting, rolling, etc. 

Quick-cooking oats are steamed for a longer time and are rolled in thinner flakes, while old-fashioned oats or rolled oats are processed for a lesser time and flattened into a slightly thick disc-like structure. Quick oats are faster in cooking than rolled oats though they have the same nutritional value. Quick oats gave a mushy texture, and rolled oats gave a coarse texture. Both types of oats can be used interchangeably in various dishes like cookies, cakes, muffins, and dosa, etc.


  1. https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/fulltext/2001/03000/oats_nature_s_functional_food.4.aspx
  2. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.1201/9781420014419-5/occurrence-distribution-content-dietary-intake-phytate-rukma-reddy
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