I love porridge but I always seem to end with some stuck on the bottom of the saucepan. I use a non-stick saucepan, keep on a low heat, and stir regularly. I tend to use porridge oats and enough water and milk (about 1/2 and 1/2) to cover the oats. Does anybody have any hints/tips to prevent sticking? The porridge always tastes lovely and isn't burnt etc. Thanks.
I keep it on low heat after I've gotten it up to boiling initially. It will stick sometimes, but after I stir it, the stuck stuff will be reabsorbed into the water. I try to get as much stuff as possible unstuck when stirring, and then a moment later the remainder will have magically become unstuck. I guess it sticks because the water rises and the oats precipitate down to the bottom of the pot; conversely, it magically unsticks because the stuck oats get reabsorbed into the water. I find it's okay as long as I stir it every few minutes.
I turn the heat off after a bit, usually when big, slow bubbles start to balloon up or it just looks like it's thick enough. At this point it won't be totally thickened, but it will have absorbed enough heat to make it the rest of the way, so I just let it sit on the stove for another 10 minutes or so, maybe more.
I also go 2:1 water:oats.. actually a bit more water than that, probably 2.2:1. This is partly to compensate for the small amount of water that will boil off even though the lid is on when I'm not stirring it.
If it's not burning, then why worry about it?
Other than this, the usual culprit for sticking is that the base of the pan is too thin, so the heat isn't distributed as evenly as it could be.
Or, if the food is particularly thick, then it's pretty much bound to stick -- but if you like thick porridge, that's something you have to live with.
Some people like to make porridge in a slow cooker (I seem to be recommending these a lot recently); there'd be no sticking there.
I tend to make porridge in a microwave, which again has no risk of sticking.
@Slim has it covered
I use the microwave and never have a spillage problem. I use a bowl with twice the height of the porridge mixture
Before the invention of microwave ovens and convenient gas or electric cookers people used to use hay boxes for things like porridge. Just bring a heavy pot to the boil and then place it in an insulated box overnight. In the morning you will have warm and perfectly cooked porridge. Modern equivalent can be used of course :-)
I use Quaker Quick Oats and the cooking time is less then 3 minutes. Grease the bottom and sides of the pot with a teaspoon full of margarine. This will prevent the porridge from sticking to the pot and also add to the flavour. As soon as the porridge comes to a boil, mix once and turn down to low for about 3 minutes. I eat my porridge with brown sugar and milk. Enjoy.