The different types of oats
Do you know your pinhead from your jumbo, or your oatmeal from your rolled?
Here's an explanation of the different types of oats to ensure you're oat-savvy next time you hit the shops.
These are whole oats that have simply been cut into two or three
pieces by steel cutters to produce rough, coarse oatmeal.
Uses: use for oatcakes and the traditional
way of making porridge.
These are whole oats that have been softened with steam and then
flattened between rollers to produce flakes.
Uses: use raw in muesli, or to make thick,
These are steel cut (also known as pinhead) oats (oats that are
cut into two or three pieces) that have been softened with steam
and then rolled to produce flakes. They are smaller than jumbo
flakes therefore, so cook quicker and make a finer, smoother
Uses: tend to be used for the single-serve
sachet products found in supermarkets. Use a mix of jumbo and
rolled oats to make biscuits, oatcakes, cereal bars or
This is made by using grooved rolls to break up the oats to
produce different grades of oatmeal, from coarse oatmeal (steel
cut/pinhead oats), to medium or fine oatmeal. Until rolled oats
were introduced, porridge was traditionally made with oatmeal. It
takes longer to cook and usually has a much thicker texture
compared to rolled oats.
Uses: use for biscuits, oatcakes, scones and
Finer than oatmeal, this is made by grinding and sieving oats.
As with oatmeal, the flour can be coarse, medium or fine.
Uses: use for making bread or cakes.