This is a change of pace from my usual style. I’m going straight to the point: Trader Joes Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats will earn the very first two scores in the almost 400 reviews that have been posted on this blog. The oatmeal is also very delicious. As oatmeal goes, it is ….ugh. It all depends on how you make it.
It all depends on how it’s made. This applies to everything, even those awful turkey meatloaf cupcakes. If you don’t mind the “preferred methods” notes, you can bake them twice as much as necessary, fry them in cheese, coat them with gravy, wrap them in wontons, and then sauté in olive oil, hot sauce, and finish them off by singing loudly to Justin Bieber. Or something similar. I don’t know how they can be found.
But I digress. But back to the oatmeal. Here’s what it looks like:
Good for: It can be made on the stove top. Yes, it is very delicious. Sandy and I made a couple of bowls (pictured) this weekend for breakfast. We also had a French press with fresh brewed coffee. I added some grade-B maple syrup to mine and toasted almond slivers. Deeeeeee-lish. This is a delicious, easy-to-make recipe that takes approximately eight minutes. It’s interesting to see the oatmeal granules react to the water and become mush. It makes me wonder: what is the fuss about oatmeal being “steelcut”? Living in Pittsburgh, I can understand why that should make me feel proud, but it doesn’t matter what oatmeal is made with. What if the oatmeal was made with titanium instead? Or adamantium? Or, if it was just repeatedly crushed by an Thwomp Brother? I see these clever marketing buzz words, “steel cut oatmeal”, all the time. It’s not possible to make oatmeal attractive, so make it exotic. Or something. But, stovetop prep = healthy nomnomnom.
Bottom line: 8 out 10 Golden Spoons can be cooked in a mug.
Trader Joe’s Quick Cook Steel Cut Oatmeal IS NOT GOOD When: You can use the microwave. Nope. Nope. I have tried three times with three different methods and failed each time. The first time I tried, this was probably because I underestimated the problem. I took my quarter cup steel and three quarters cup water from my hot water tap at work. (You know, the kind you’d use for making tea), put it into a container about two cups in volume and then nuked it for three mins. I was able to see that after three minutes approximately 60% of the oatmeal had boiled over. This caused a lot of mess. Two dish towels were needed to clean up the mess. I was afraid to nuke it again so I ate the leftovers with almonds and berries. Ugh. The texture was not done right – the mixture was very grainy, mushy and chewy. I decided to get a larger container. I decided to use a container of approximately six cups volume the next day. There was no boil over instead, all of the water evaporated leaving a layer of dry, crusty oatmeal reside. I think of the word “Boil Over” Bird suet. It was unpalatable. Ok, I suggested a smaller container with a larger surface area, but tall enough to withstand the boiling potential. So I bought a Chinese delivery quart container (like one for wonton soup) and tried it. It didn’t boil over again, this time after only two and a-half minutes. This left me with half-cooked breakfast, and a mess. I think it was around 20%, and it only took one dish towel. I decided to quit. I went back to Clif bars for a mid-morning snack at work.
The bottom line is that 1 of 10 Golden Spoons can be cooked in a microwave.
There you have it. Stove = great. Microwave = blech. It’s delicious when done right. Sandy and I both enjoyed ours. This would also work well on a backpacking trip as it is a simple and delicious meal that will not break the bank. I wish it was a viable option for work. Perhaps you are a master at using a microwave and can show me how to do this. It’s not something I will cook at home and then heat up at work. You’ll be my hero if you can show me how. It costs $2.49 per can.
Bottom Bottom line: Use the stovetop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!