Last Updated on February 10, 2022
Cooking oatmeal can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you’re trying to eat a healthy breakfast every morning.
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have time to cook oatmeal from scratch every morning. Oatmeal is one of those make-ahead breakfasts that you can always count on to give you a healthy meal on the go.
But, how do you reheat oatmeal? It’s so important to know how to reheat oatmeal safely and well.
There is more than one way to reheat oatmeal, my friend. These 3 simple methods will help you know how to reheat oatmeal quickly and safely.
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Why Is Oatmeal Good for You?
While you might be turned off from eating oatmeal because of its bland appearance, this breakfast cereal is actually good for your health and can help prevent certain diseases.
Oatmeal contains beta-glucan and soluble fiber which work together to regulate insulin and cholesterol levels.
Plus, the complex carbohydrates in oatmeal give your body a longer-lasting source of energy to start your day with.
So, whether you’re a hot or cold oatmeal eater, this breakfast cereal can be a great option for anyone who wants to lead a healthier lifestyle.
In addition, oatmeal contains iron and calcium which promote healthy cell growth in the body and help build strong bones.
How to Prepare Oatmeal Ahead of Time and Store It for the Week
Oatmeal is a nutritious and hearty breakfast for sure. And, it’s can be a quick lunch or snack, too. Who says that oatmeal is just a breakfast food?!?
To plan ahead and have your prepared oatmeal waiting for you in the frig, here are some tips for making and storing a large batch of oatmeal:
- Prepare a pot of plain oatmeal on the stovetop, using your favorite recipe or a single serving of instant oats. You can choose regular rolled oats, old fashioned oats, quick cooking oats, or if you prefer steel cut oats, use them.
- Put 1/2 cup servings of precooked oatmeal into a well sealed plastic bag or airtight food container, individually.
- Place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat it. Note that you can keep cooked oatmeal in the frig for up to 4 days.
How to Reheat Oatmeal Safely? Here are 3 Ways
When you want to know how to reheat oatmeal, keep these 3 quick and easy methods handy.
Method #1: Reheat oatmeal in the microwave
It’s safe to assume that you own (or have access to) a microwave oven–right? If you do, then using the microwave method for reheating your previously cooked oatmeal is the easiest and most convenient option.
To use a microwave to reheat oatmeal:
- Pour 1/2 cup of pre cooked oatmeal into a microwave-safe bowl and add 2 Tbsp. of half-and-half or milk, along with a dash of cinnamon, if you want.
- If you don’t have half-and-half or milk on hand, you can also try using water when reheating oatmeal in a microwave oven.
- Cover with plastic wrap or wax paper pierced with holes in it to vent steam.
- Cook for 1 minute, and then stir.
- Repeat the process at 30 second intervals until the oatmeal has reached it’s desired temperature.
Method #2: Reheat Oatmeal on Your Stovetop
If you didn’t plan ahead and cook your oatmeal in advance, but did store it in the refrigerator overnight, this might be the best option.
To use your stovetop for reheating oatmeal:
- Add 1/2 cup of pre cooked oatmeal to a saucepan over medium heat (on the stove). Stir the oatmeal every minute or so until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add a small amount of water or milk if you want to thin out the oatmeal and stir again.
Method #3: Reheat Oatmeal in a Crockpot
If you’re not in a hurry and plan to eat your oatmeal over the course of 30 minutes or so, then using a crockpot is another convenient option for reheating cooked oatmeal.
To use your crockpot for reheating oatmeal:
- Add 1/2 cup of prepared oatmeal to a crockpot. Add 2 Tbsp. water and 1/4 cup half-and-half or milk, along with a dash of cinnamon, if you want. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes or until hot and creamy.
*Note that this method works best for oatmeal that you prepare with milk.
Can You Reheat Baked Oatmeal?
Yes, you can. Follow the same microwaving and stovetop reheating methods listed above.
*Note that baked oatmeal will only keep its optimal texture for about 7 days, so if you want to store it longer than that, you should freeze it instead
What’s Considered a Safe Internal Temperature When Reheating Oatmeal?
When you reheat pre-cooked oatmeal, it should be steaming hot all the way through, otherwise known as 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you end up with undercooked oatmeal, reheated or not, it can lead to issues with gas and bloating, and that’s not a pleasant experience, so it’s important to reheat the oats until they reach this temperature and ensure that they are cooked appropriately.
While it may be difficult to gauge an exact internal temperature for your cooked oatmeal when you’re reheating it using a stovetop or crockpot, you should use a food thermometer to check whether the oatmeal is steaming hot throughout.
Does Cooked Oatmeal Change Texture When Reheated?
Yes, because much of the liquid has been absorbed while the cooked oatmeal has been sitting in the refrigerator, you may notice that your previously prepared oatmeal has a different texture, perhaps a little gooey.
Some people prefer to use a microwave oven when reheating oatmeal because the texture of the cereal is softer after it’s been warmed up in this way as opposed to using a stovetop or crockpot.
You can improve the texture of your cooked oatmeal when reheating by adding more liquid (milk, half-and-half or boiling water) after it’s been reheated the first time.
Also, cooking oatmeal in milk instead of water will result in a creamier final product.
Can Cooked Oatmeal be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze oatmeal that has been prepared, in an airtight container, and thaw it when you’re ready to eat. Frozen oatmeal can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
If possible, avoid freezing the oatmeal with liquid ingredients such as milk or half-and-half because these may separate from the other ingredients once they’ve been defrosted.
This is especially important if you plan to reheat the oatmeal in a microwave oven.
Tips for Freezing Oatmeal
- Store your previously cooked oatmeal in portion sizes of 1/2 cup or less to make reheating and serving easier and more convenient.
- It’s best to use freezer bags when storing oatmeal (and other foods) in the freezer, but plastic containers will work too if that’s all you have.
*Note that glass containers are not advisable for freezer storage because they can shatter. Plus, silicone is another good choice if you have it on hand
What Are the Common Problems When Reheating Oatmeal?
Though we’ve gone over a few ways to reheat cooked oatmeal, there are several problems that can come along with this process.
One of the most common issues is overcooking oatmeal, which may cause it to appear gooey and gummy. This might be due to your oatmeal being heated for too long or at too high of a temperature.
When this happens, you can try cooking your oatmeal for less time next time around or by using a lower heat setting on the stovetop.
Another common problem with reheating cooked oatmeal is scorching or burning it. This often happens when you have your oatmeal set at too high of a temperature for too long–which can easily be avoided if you’re checking the food’s internal temperature every now and then.
Adding too much liquid to your oatmeal might also cause the cereal to scorch if it’s not stirred frequently during the cooking process.
Oftentimes, people will find that their oatmeal is dry or crumbly after reheating it. This happens because one of two things has occurred: either there wasn’t enough moisture in the oatmeal when it was initially cooked or there was too much liquid added to it when you were heating it up.
If your oatmeal is dry after being heated, try adding more milk or half-and-half before serving it again. This will help give your oatmeal the perfect consistency once you’re ready to eat it.
How Can You Make Oatmeal Taste Better?
While eating plain oatmeal is a nutritious breakfast option, there are plenty of ways to add flavor and improve the taste of your morning meal.
One way you can do this is by adding fresh or dried fruits to your oatmeal while it’s cooking. Blueberries or raspberries work well because they add a burst of freshness to the cereal and complement its flavor.
Other foods that taste great in this creamy porridge include nuts, syrup, honey, or brown sugar.
Some folks love adding almond butter or even a dollop of peanut butter to their oats.
When it comes to improving the overall taste of your precooked oatmeal, adding more liquid ingredients such as milk or half-and-half will go a long way in doing so. This is because you can add these ingredients and re-heat your oatmeal without any danger of it drying out.
Overnight Oats are a Convenient Alternative
If you’re searching for convenience along with a healthy breakfast option, how about overnight oats? There are many simple recipes, it doesn’t require a huge amount of preparation time or ingredients, and the results are mighty tasty!
Here are some of the recipes for overnight oats you can find right here at Wild About Oats:
- Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats
- Blueberry Overnight Oats with Chia and Yogurt
- Delicious Date Overnight Oats
- Raspberry Chia Overnight Oats
- 8 Delicious Recipes for Overnight Oats
Conclusion: How do You Reheat Oatmeal?
Now that you’ve learned more about this healthy, filling breakfast and the options for reheating leftover oatmeal, you can start enjoying a delicious meal every day.
Whether you prefer having your oatmeal hot or cold, this breakfast cereal will provide you with the energy and nutrients that your body needs to get through the day.
So, whether you want to cook it in a microwave oven or on a stovetop, try out one of these simple reheating methods next time you have a bowl of leftover oatmeal.