I warm up steel cut oats I cooked and stored in the refrigerator.
To warm the portion I use 4x the portion's size in water. I.e. for 50gr I use 200gr water.
This takes me 15 mins.
Is there a faster way to do this without a microwave?
I fill a pan with water 4 times the weight of the oats I got from the fridge.
I wait until the water starts to boil.
Then I put the oats in the pan (they are frozen and completely solid at this point).
I use a spoon to break the oats and after 2-3 mins I lower a bit the heat.
I wait until the water is fully gone (stirring) and the solid oats appear fluid. I like them warm

  • Sorry, but I don't understand your current process. Could you elaborate, please?
    – Stephie
    Jan 13, 2016 at 20:05
  • @Stephie:Please see update
    – Jim
    Jan 13, 2016 at 21:03
  • Have you tried adding the oats initially rather than waiting for the water to boil first?
    – Catija
    Jan 13, 2016 at 21:12
  • @Catija:No because I assumed that the water would take more time to warm up
    – Jim
    Jan 13, 2016 at 21:27
  • Possibly... but you don't have a significantly greater volume of water, so the icy oats would probably cool the water to a good degree... you could also pull the oats out of the freezer and put them in the fridge the night before... then they wouldn't be nearly so cold when they hit the pot.
    – Catija
    Jan 13, 2016 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


No, I don't see how you can do better.

To heat something quickly, you need quick heat transfer. Water is the most efficient liquid in the kitchen to use for that, and its maximum temperature is 100 C. You're already using water -> oats heat transfer at its maximum speed.

If you were to use a liquid which can be heated to higher temperatures, you'd need to switch to oil. But then you'd be deep frying the oats, which is not only messy, but also changes the flavor a lot.

Then you could just try radiant heat + convection: an oven. But if you want the oven to work quicker than boiling water, you'll have to have a very hot oven, like a commercial pizza oven or an Aga, already running at full temperature before you stick the oats in. It's not practicable in most home settings.

There is one possibility: that you are already using the most efficient method available, but are using it wrong. I didn't understand exactly why you are adding extra water and then waiting for it to evaporate. Have you tried using less water and waiting for shorter time? Is it that your oats were cooked with too little water the first time, or parcooked to too early a stage, or what's the problem there?

  • I cook the oats originally with the analogy 1-4. When I warm them up I am using the same analogy as I am thinking that it is the best in order to get them warm and in a fluid form. My concern is that if I use less I might "burn" then instead. I mean to get stuck to the bottom of the pan
    – Jim
    Jan 14, 2016 at 19:12

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