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Can You Reheat Oatmeal ? Or Do You Eat Cold Oatmeal ?

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Oatmeal is one of those filling, simple, yet delicious dishes that you can have for pretty much any meal. Most people opt to have oatmeal for breakfast, since it’s usually a sweet dish and it’s so filling it gives your enough energy until lunch. But let’s face it, oatmeal is hard to make in just one serving, so often you get leftovers.

Can you reheat oatmeal ? If yes, which is the best method ? Does reheating change anything about it ? Can you make a bit batch of oatmeal and keep it for the whole week ? How long can you keep it in the fridge ? All this and more, coming right up !

oatmeal reheat

Can you reheat oatmeal ?

Yes, you can reheat oatmeal as long as it’s been properly stored in the fridge, at a low temperature. When reheating your oatmeal make sure to add a bit of extra liquid, like milk or water or plant milk, and stir every now and then. Oatmeal will reheat wonderfully and turn out even creamier the next day.

Be sure to use low or medium heat, as using too hot a flame can make the oats stick to the pan or burn in the microwave. Always remember to stir !

When reheating the oatmeal, do not reheat the whole container, only take out as much as you need for one serving and then reheat that.

Is reheated oatmeal safe ?

Yes, reheated oatmeal is perfectly safe, provided it hasn’t been in the fridge for more than 4 days. As long as the oatmeal was stored properly, in an airtight container, and at a low temperature like in a fridge, it should be perfectly fine to sue the next day.

Read also: Can You Reheat Food In Styrofoam ? 

The only danger is when the oatmeal has been left out on the counter for several hours or overnight, especially if it was uncovered. Bacteria and mold spores are likely to develop at temperatures above 40 F/ 4 C. Your fridge is set to lower than that, so you have no reason to worry.

Always use clean utensils when scooping out cold oatmeal to reheat it. If you’re planning on keeping several portions of oatmeal in the fridge, a sterile environment is key. This is why a clean spoon and airtight container are key here. Now let’s take a look at the two main methods of reheating oatmeal.

How to reheat oatmeal safely

When reheating oatmeal, using clean utensils is important. Especially if you’re only scooping out a single serving from a big pot of oatmeal. Use a clean spoon, and make sure the container is clean.

And when reheating oatmeal, remember that you can easily burn it if you don’t provide some extra moisture. Oats draw in more moisture as they sit, even in the fridge. Your next-day oats will be thicker than the day-of.

Be sure to add a bit of extra liquid when reheating oatmeal

Always add a splash of extra liquid when reheating your oatmeal, no matter how you reheat it. The liquid can be anything, but it’s common to use what you cooked with, so milk, plant milk, or just plain water are all perfectly good options.

oatmeal milk

You don’t need much, just a spoonful or something the like. As the oats are heating up, make sure to stop and stir them every 30 seconds or so. This way the liquid will keep the oats from burning, and they do one more thing. The liquid will heat up much quicker than the oats, so when you mix in hot liquid, you speed up the heating process.

1. Reheat oatmeal in the microwave on medium heat

The simplest and easiest way to reheat oatmeal is to sue the microwave. All you need to do is add your portion of oatmeal to a bowl or plate, add in a tablespoon of liquid, and preferably cover the plate or bowl.

Depending on how strong your microwave is and how hot you want the oats to be, reheating oatmeal can be as short as 2 minutes. Be sure to stir every 30 seconds or so.

Once it’s reached the desired temperature, it’s ready to eat !

2. Use a stovetop on low heat

For the stovetop, the method take a little longer and you may need to stir and add more liquid. This depends on what kind of pot you’re using, make sure it’s got a thick bottom or the oats will stick.

Use a low flame, add liquid, and stir until the oats heat up just the way you like them. We really recommend you keep an eye on the bottom of the oats. If they start to stick and turn a darker color, take them off the heat. Otherwise you end up with burned oats and a non-delicious smoky flavor in your breakfast.

Does oatmeal change texture when reheated ?

When the oatmeal sits at a cool temperature and draws the leftover moisture, the result is a thicker, creamier oatmeal. This will soften a little as the oats heat up. But once you add back a little liquid, you will get the same texture as the previous day.

So yes, oatmeal does change texture, but it’s not the reheating that changes it, it’s the cold temperature and the long hours.

Can you eat cold-cooked oatmeal ?

Yes, you can eat cold cooked oatmeal, provided it’s been kept in the fridge. Actually some people may prefer their oatmeal cold, since it’s a different experience altogether. This is usually accompanied by jam, instead of fresh fruit, though you may still use fresh fruit if you like.

It’s a texture reminiscent of a lumpy ice cream, but in a good way. Try it, since there’s nothing wrong with it and you’ll definitely fall in love with this other side of oatmeal. Eaten like this it turns into a summer dessert, going past its sometimes boring breakfast label.

And in case you figure out you don’t like it cold, you can always have reheat it.

Can you make oatmeal ahead of time ?

Yes, you can make a large batch of oatmeal ahead of time and take a portion out of it for several days. This may even be a better idea if you have a very busy schedule or many mouths to feed at once. It even works if you live alone and cook 3 servings and want to eat them throughout the week.

The best way to make a large batch of oatmeal is to use a recipe that gives you a lot of flexibility. You alone know what texture and thickness you want your oats to be. We’ll tell you how we make our oats, and you can use it as a baseline. We like them pretty thick, and we use instant oats.

For every cup of oats, we use half a cup of water and half a cup of dairy milk. This is because using just milk doesn’t provide enough moisture, due to the fat and protein content of milk.

As the oats start to simmer, we stir continuously. Here is where we judge whether we need more milk, and we usually do. We usually wing the amount of extra milk, but he generally go by texture. At the end, if the oats reveal the bottom of the pan when we stir, it’s too thick, so we add more milk.

It’s better to add in small splashes than in set amounts, since every round of cooked oats is different. If you’re using steel cut oats, you will need much more liquid, as they cook much slower.

How long does cooked oatmeal last ?

Cooked oatmeal can last up to 4 days in the fridge, as long as you keep them in a clean, airtight container. It may be best to transfer them to a container that is wide and shallow, so the oats can cool evenly. Otherwise the middle of the pot or container will be still hot while the outside is fairly cool.

How to store oatmeal for several days

Use a container that is wide and shallow, maybe two if you’re cooking a very large batch. Make sure you can provide a good lid that will seal the pot or container.

When taking out a portion of oatmeal, make sure to use a clean spoon or scoop each time. DO not let the oatmeal sit out overnight, always return it to the fridge.

There is no need to add extra liquid to the oatmeal sitting in the fridge, only add to the portions you are reheating.

Read Also: Can You Reheat Apple Crumble ?


Reheating oatmeal is not so complicated but there are also people who enjoy it cold so eating cold oatmeal is safe as well. I hope this article will help you find the best method of reheating oatmeal or if you like them cold, go for it.

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