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.

  • do you clean the pan immediately? Or do you let it sit till you are done with your porridge then clean it?
    – Sam Holder
    Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 15:38
  • I always add a bit of water to it afterwards and leave it so it's ready to cook after work.
    – nixy
    Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 8:54

5 Answers 5


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.

  • 1
    I've tried porridge with both thick and thin-based pans, and it sticks every time. I find it's never a problem for cleaning as long as you soak the stuck bits for at least 1 hour with cold water. You end up able to lift off an entire sheet of starchy, oaty residue. Quite fun really!
    – KimbaF
    Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 15:41
  • The microwave may not stick, but I tend to use the stove, since every time I try to make oatmeal in the microwave, it bubbles over, and I end up cleaning the microwave of thick, goopy porridge.
    – Martha F.
    Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 15:57
  • @Martha that's a matter of learning the right power and timing -- or using a bigger container. Those pre-packaged microwave porridge sachets contain stabiliser to prevent boiling over.
    – slim
    Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 16:01
  • I've always found it to stick worse in microwaves for some reason. I also use a thick bottomed pan (although I'm sure I could find a thicker one).
    – nixy
    Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 8:55

@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 :-)

  • The modern equivalent might be a slow cooker. There are lots of recipes for slow cooker oatmeal.
    – Martha F.
    Commented Mar 16, 2011 at 15:56

Use a non stick porridge and a rubber spatula to get the porridge out and then soak in cold water so when you have eaten you porridge it is very simple to clean. One advantage of a porridger is you wont need to stir it so often and it won't stick.


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.

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