Differences Between Quaker Quick Oats & Old Fashioned Oats

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Oatmeal contains fiber, protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals that make it a nutritious food that is commonly eaten for breakfast. Quaker is one of the leading brands in the United States and sells a few different types of oats, including quick oats and old fashioned oats. These products have a few key differences.


The main difference between the contents of a tub of quick oats and a tub of old fashioned oats is the size of the oat pieces. Old fashioned oats are steamed and rolled to a moderate thickness. Quick oats are cut slightly smaller than old fashioned oats and are steamed and rolled to a thinner size. Each piece of old fashioned oatmeal will probably have a consistent oval shape. With quick oats, the size and shape varies slightly because they were cut smaller.

Cooking Recipe

The recipe to prepare quick oats and old fashioned oats is nearly identical, but it contains one slight difference. When preparing a large batch of oatmeal, you will need slightly more water if you are using quick oats than you need with old fashioned oats. This is because the quick oats, with their smaller size, absorb slightly more water than the old fashioned oats. For example, the recipe for three servings of either quick or old fashioned oats calls for 2-1/2 cups of water and 1-1/2 cups of oats. However, if you increase the recipe to four servings, you need 2 cups of either type of oats plus 3-1/2 cups of water for quick oats or 3-1/4 cups of water for old fashioned oats.

Cooking Time

Old fashioned oats need to cook for longer than quick oats. This is because it takes longer for the water to penetrate all the way to the center of the thicker pieces. Quaker recommends cooking old fashioned oats for five minutes after the water comes to a boil. On the other hand, you only need to cook quick oats for one minute after the water boils. In the microwave, old fashioned oats need a total of two to three minutes of cooking time, whereas quick oats only need one to two minutes.

Additional Information

Although Quaker quick oats and old fashioned oats are different in a few ways, they are nearly identical products. They are both 100 percent natural and only contain oats. They have exactly the same nutritive value as each other. In both cases, 1/2 cup of dry oats makes up one serving. Quaker sells a few other types of oats that are much more different from quick oats and old fashioned oats. Steel cut oats are less processed and take about 30 minutes to cook, whereas instant oats are even smaller than quick oats and therefore only need to have hot water poured over them.