In the morning, I usually have porridge with a bit of fruit. The issue is that the porridge oats always seem to retain their shape and never become very sticky, even after I leave it for a few seconds after microwaving.

I use 40g of Kavanagh's porridge with 220ml of milk and put it in an 800 watt microwave for the specified time of 2 minutes and 30 seconds. I then add in cherries and blueberries then put it in the microwave for a further 30 seconds, before adding sliced banana. After waiting for a few minutes, the oats have absorbed the milk, but seem to retain their shape and don't become sticky.

I prefer to use the microwave instead of the hob, as their is less to wash up afterwards. I have tried adding less milk and putting the porridge in for longer, but this doesn't seem to have an effect.

How do I make my porridge thicker and stickier in the microwave?

  • 1
    Kavanagh's are probably rolled oats, right? I highly recommend you try out steel-cut instead. Way, way better for porridge, though unfortunately much less common. Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 22:45

3 Answers 3


There are 2 main points that will affect the thickness of your porridge :

  • The oatmeal/milk (or water) ratio
  • The temperature reached by the oatmeal. Litterature says the oat starch gelatinization (that gives said thickness) happens at around 80°C. From experience, higher is better (probably because heating isn't homogenous in a micro wave, and you'll need to be close to the boiling point on some parts of your bowl to reach at least 80°C everywhere).

So, what I would suggest is :

  • Put your 40g of oatmeal and 220mL of milk, and measure the exact time it take it to boil in the microwave. If it's significantly higher than 2min30, and the result is thick as you want, just microwave it that long every time.
  • If it's still not thick enough, add a bit more oatmeal untile you reach the desired thickness.
  • 2
    And let it rest a bit, optionally with the microwave at the lowest setting. This usually does the trick for me.
    – Stephie
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 12:27
  • @Stephie : Indeed ! But since you need a near-boiling temperature, you can't eat it right away anyway, so apart from specific case that make the porridge cool down very quickly (which isn't the case here since he micro-waves it again), the porridge will nearly always rest. The resting bit is good to know for not judging the final state of the porridge right after heating it in the micro-wave though.
    – Tahn
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 12:58

I had similar problem (but I used water instead of milk).

The solution was to cook it like on a hob. Instead warm the milk first, pour over oats. Leave for a minute and then put into microwave again.

Be wary that this might boil the milk so use a high container to prevent spilling. Or use transparent one to stop heating up when needed.


To add up on Tahn's answer, this is how I make mine:

  • I mix my oats with required amount of milk (let's say 220ml) and then add an additional 60-75 ml of milk (you may need to adjust this depending on the consistency you like). Stir and microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. I then stir and let it sit for about 1 minute.
  • This part requires continuous attention. I then put it back in the microwave and cook again. You need to watch it very carefully at this stage through the microwave glass door and let it boil/rise just up to the brim of the mug or bowl. Stop the microwave at this exact point, boiling porridge will settle down in a few seconds. Start the microwave again to carefully let it boil again just over to the brim and stop the microwave. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of watching it like an eagle because it will spill over into a big sticky mess in a matter of split second so do not look away.
  • Stir and add your favourite toppings.

Letting it nearly-boil adds the perfect stickiness to the porridge.

  • If I wanted to add frozen fruit to it, at what point would I do so? (Frozen fruit only takes about 15 seconds to defrost) Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 17:49
  • 1
    I would add it before the very last zap, as the 2 near-boils in the last part only take 15-20 seconds each. Or alternatively, you could add it after cooking and let the porridge sit. It will obviously always have to sit for a couple of minutes before eating, it has been nearly boiling so it will be too hot to eat just out of the microwave. In this sitting, i would guess frozen fruit would also defrost, if it is small enough pieces.
    – Ess Kay
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 17:58

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