Steel Cut vs. Rolled Oats vs. Instant Oats: What’s the Difference?

All McCann’s Irish Oatmeal products share certain characteristics (like being delicious!) But not all of our oatmeals are exactly the same. We offer three different types of oats: steel cut Irish oatmeal, rolled Irish oats, and instant Irish oatmeal in three flavors. These different types refer to the way they have been processed for you to eat, and the textures and flavors vary between the three types.

Curious about which is which, and which one you want to enjoy next? 

Here’s the difference between McCann’s steel cut, rolled oats, and instant oats.

McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal

Steel cut oats are the closest version to oats in their whole, unprocessed form, which is called oat groats. They’re deliciously nutty, with a more toasted, chewy texture than other forms of oatmeal.

Perfect for: Preparing in a big batch on Sunday for a week’s worth of breakfasts that give your days a hearty, healthy kickoff. 

Delicious with: Great pairings with soft and sweet toppings like fresh berries or creamy nut butters, since steel cut oats tend to be chewier and nuttier than other varieties.

McCann’s Rolled Irish Oats

These thin, flattened oats cook more quickly than steel cut oats, and have a milder flavor that’s complemented well by both sweet and savory add-ins. Plus, their softness and shape lend some textured flavor and nutrition to baked goods like cookies, muffins, and crumbles.

Perfect for: The mornings where you want to let a hot pot of oatmeal simmer on the stove. 

Delicious with: Your favorite nuts, coconut shavings, or dried fruits by drizzling them upon creamy rolled oats to add texture and sweetness.

McCann’s Instant Irish Oatmeal

These are extra thin and flat so they cook quickly, but similar in flavor and nutritional value to traditional rolled oats. 

Perfect for: The mornings where you need a comforting, hot breakfast on the go. McCann’s individual instant oatmeal Microwaveable Cups in four flavors can be put in a microwave and eaten straight from the container. 

Delicious with: So many things! To minimize your prep time, McCann’s instant oatmeal already comes packed with flavors ranging from maple syrup to apple cinnamon. But you can always grab easy on-the-go additions like a banana or dried cranberries for some extra flavor. 

Want more inspiration for using all of our McCann oatmeal products? Check out our recipes page here! Looking for where you can purchase hearty and healthy McCann’s products nearest to you? Use our easy Where to Buy tool.