Q: In a recipe, does it matter whether I use quick-cooking oats instead of old-fashioned oats?
— J.W., Columbus
A: Old-fashioned oats are whole oats that have been rolled to flatten them — which explains why they’re often called rolled oats. Quick oats are the same rolled oats but cut into small pieces so they cook faster — typically one minute as opposed to five.
In many recipes, they can be used interchangeably. (As a filler in meatloaf, for example, either works.)
Because they have different textures, however, swapping them can change the texture of the item you are preparing. Oatmeal cookies made with old-fashioned oats are chunkier and chewier than those made with the quick version.
Similarly, you might not prefer old-fashioned oats as part of a breading for chicken, because their texture is coarse and dry compared with the quick version.
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