Oats - Cook it with Milk or Water?

Since 1/2 price SPAM has gone the way of the dodo, I tried eating a healthier option. Camp milk on this one, nuke it for 100secs top with honey. BOOM! Breakfast!

PSA: You're in Ozbargain. Buy the homebrand oats, not Uncles.

Poll Options

  • 358
  • 104


  • +4

    I guess the BOOM! after the nuke it makes sense…

    • OP enjoys melodrama.

      • intensity of expression tends to be associated with infrequency of social contact

        so someone who sees people all the time - 'hey …'

        someone who hasn't seen anyone in a long time - 'OMG !!! BOOM!'

        • +2

          someone who makes explosions all the time - 'pop'

          someone who hasn't exploded anything in a long time - 'BOOM!'

  • +14

    Either is fine.

    On stove milk is likely to dry/burn more easily. Therefore you can cook with water on stove, then add milk after Oats are cooked.

    Microwave won’t have above risk.

    • +31

      I remember this guy at work forgot to add milk or water to his oats when he microwaved it. When he took the bowl out, the oats were brown and smoking. He was worried it was going to set off the smoke alarm so he tossed the whole bowl and oats in the sink and turned on the cold water tap. To add to his embarrassment, the bowl cracked in two.

      • +4


        • +3

          So did we. There were about half dozen other staff making breakfast at work

          • @Transient: Toasties at work caused more than half of the false fire alarms. I heard rumours that each fire truck has a call out fee of approx $2k?

            • @Andysjunks: It is some fee. At least $1k but probably depends on location, etc.

      • Lol. That sounds like something I’d do. The sink makes such a good food disposal when embarrassed and grumpy.

        My wife never seems to learn microwave physics too. She always puts something in on high and comes back a couple of minutes later when it’s popping and spitting and there’s bits of chicken or sauce on the microwave ceiling. Then doesn’t clean it. I’ve told her so many times to turn it down.

        • Haha. What to do. Cover with a plate and it gets steamed. Cover with a paper towel and it gets stuck to the food. I've got a old microwave at home. Even though there are low and med settings, actually the power is the same, it just turns off for a few seconds every minute so it is not constantly heating!

          • @Transient: Yeah, paper towel is my goto but if you feel like eating some with your food. Just don't cover it with glad wrap or you will go to toxic chemical hell!

            As you say, the old nukers just duty cycle the magnetron (sorry I can't put this simpler) which is 'OK' but newer ones, and our Panasonic (which is now probably 10 years old) actually dials down the power of it rather than on/off 100%. I can set it to any setting in 10% increments. It's not a particularly good one, just run of the mill.

            • @GeneralSkunk: yeah, don't use glad wrap. If the food is a bit oily I found out that the wrap just melts - big hole in the wrap. Think I was reheating lasagne.

              I've got an old Sharp - must be getting close to 20 years. Some of the led dots on the display have stopped working but can still work it out when the numbers change. Thanks for the info - good to know that tech finally advanced!

    • +5

      my milk bubbling and overflow out the bowl even before the oat is fully cooked in microwave

      • +5

        Use taller bowl. I had this issue too and I just use the big salad bowl. No more overflow.

      • +1

        If you have a microwave with the oatmeal function, use it. The microwave I have goes full power until it boils, then powers down to a simmer for another minute or so. Great result by the end of it.

        • What brand is your microwave? I need 1 like that.

          • +3

            @yamahamoto: Breville Quick Touch Crisp. Got it from this deal.

            • @bradstud92: unless you already have Breville, I recommend get a Japanese or Korean one, Breville is crap, noisy as an airplane going through your roof. They must've been an incompetent bunch that couldn't make a 40-year-old tech in a decent way. For reference my old Panasonic which was at least 15 years older than this current one but was dead quiet. They do have some fancy features and better and defrosting not overcooking frozen mince but I'd expect other brand can do the same if not better.

              • +1

                @lgacb08: I'm really surprised. This is the first negative comment I've ever heard of a Breville product, other than price.
                They usually make excellent products, but make you pay for the quality.

                • @SlickMick: It is not what it used to be. Had their pressure cooker go bad after little use but outside of warranty. Well supported stuff otherwise. Assess reliability based the individual product and its reviews, brand name alone is nothing to go by anymore.

                  • +1

                    @yokel: Maybe they're focusing too much on coffee machines, they still excel there.

                    I was so impressed with the Oracle, and the research I did before I purchased, I became a shareholder.
                    (They're also my favorite stock, which is a negative to me as a consumer, because it means they're making way too much money.)

        • Yeah I do it on high for a minute then 50% for 2-3 min. Often just do it on the stove though for the kids and us.

    • +6

      The correct answer is both - 50/50
      Add honey as a sweetner

    • need a little water so doesnt burn then milk

    • This is the way…. but I start adding milk towards the end.
      Soak the oats overnight if they're not the 'quick' kind and you have time.

  • +4

    Buy the homebrand oats, not Uncles.

    Coles is good too.

  • +13

    Milk is the only way. Change my mind.

    • +30

      Water is the only way; your mind is now changed.

      • +31

        Damn you’re good

        • +2

          Now you've got porridge brains

          • +3

            @Kangal: Better than having ciggie butt brains

  • +8

    They’re creamier with milk.

    • Milk creamier than water? Blasphemy!

  • +11

    60:40 full cream milk and water. Increase the ratio of milk if using low fat milk.

  • +3

    I've found there needs to be a ratio of milk and water, if it's all milk then it'll get caught at the bottom of the pan and it's PITA to clean

  • +17

    I normally microwave with water and then pour in milk to cool it down.

  • +3

    Milk and berries and spoonful sugar helps the medicine go down

  • milk

  • +2


    Soak in water for 30-60 minutes, microwave for 90 seconds, mix a scoop of WPI in some milk and add to the oats.

    • +4

      Who has the time to pre-soak oats for 45min in the morning?!

      • People who get up at 6am?

        • +4

          Also easy to do the night before. Makes the oats very full and creamy, even with just water.

        • Not this person. But I am temped to try a few new oat recipes based on this post

  • +1


  • +8

    water in the pot then milk when in bowl

  • Stove, water.

    If you're a heathen like me, eat with sugar. Otherwise with milk and salt.

  • a good dollop of cream then add water to cook, add milk in bowl

  • +1

    Once you've established milk is the way to go. Toppings. Homemade raspberry jam works really well.

  • cook it in water, add cold milk (usually almond) + scoop of protein powder. or just water and protein powder and leave in the fridge till the morning, no cooking required =)

    • +2

      But there was cooking at the start?!?!??

  • I use water and then top it with peaches or pears. Like these;


    Maybe not the healthiest but it tastes good.

  • +2

    quick oats + cold water. Microwave until bubbles up.
    Add milk

  • +3

    Oats is already boring, make it a little less boring with Milk

    • +1

      And Honey

    • oats is not supposed to be exciting, it's just the base for you to experiment with and add any sort of flavours you want

  • +1

    water with protein powder.

  • +1

    Quick oats or whole, I just put in bowl and pour boiling water over from making for coffee. Leave it then for a decent time is all that’s needed. Add yoghurt fruit almond butter whatever. Cooking unnecessary.

  • Milk if you want creamy oats, water if you want it the traditional way. Sprinkle with salt and that’s a true breakfast, bugger the honey.

  • +2

    Soak in water overnight. Cook in milk.

    • I've been soaking rolled oats in milk overnight.. Am I doing it wrong?!

      • +2

        No right and wrong…but this produces a good result without using too much milk.

  • +1

    Microwave with milk in Pyrex glass jug, around 1 min - add a little cold milk and a spoon of jam to taste!.

  • +1

    My husband soaks oats in milk overnight and nukes it in the morning

  • +4

    Spiced rum works best, great way to start the day

    • I've done bourbon before but I realise I was wrong…

    • +4

      Leave the oats out, makes it go down a bit easier.

  • Use do 50 50. Oat milk and water

    • +4

      Oat milk? Blasphemy! You can’t cook the baby in its mothers milk!

      • +2

        Haha I know it feels wrong but tastes right

      • +1

        Remember to eat with a side of chicken omelette.

  • Boiling water on to the oats and let them soak it up while you suck gently on your beverage of choice.
    Then back on heat and bring to simmer until you can see they soften fully. Then add powdered milk to suit and adjust the water for the texture you want.

    For OZB the following points:
    Buy Coles or Woolies brand
    Letting the oats soak uses less gas/power.
    Powdered milk slightly cheaper

  • Water to cook then add cold milk to serve. Woolies home brand oats seem to have less gristly bits than the Coles home brand oats.

    I cook my oats/water in the microwave on sensor cook setting and that way it never boils over, just takes ages.

    Honestly, whatever way works for you is fine. I like chocolate oats (with cocoa/maple syprup added to oats/water before cooking) then heaps (like half a pack) of woolies frozen cherries on the top when served with milk of choice.

  • Milk powder and add more milk powder to water to make it even creamier.

  • +1

    You're in Ozbargain. Buy the homebrand oats, not Uncles.

    Spot on ! !

    My choice: Coles "no name - no brand" Rolled Oats.

    Preparation: Put Oats, sugar and milk in a large glass, the night before. Eat at room temperature next morning, for breakfast.

    Even better: prepare more than one and leave in the fridge for the oats to soak more. Leave out of the fridge overnight as needed.

  • +1

    Overnight oats are great. Milk, little yoghurt, fruit, honey, whatever you want really. Leave it in the fridge overnight (covered) and it's delicious in the morning. Good for summer when you might not want a hot brekkie

    • +1

      Plus you can make a big batch and eat it over a few days- very low effort breakfast. If you get tired of eating the same thing everyday you can do a plain base in the fridge and everyday throw in different topping (fruit, jam, peanut butter, etc)
      Ita better with milk but I do it with water to be healthy…but sometimes throw in some yogurt later to compensate and add creaminess.

  • Combination of milk and water.
    If you just just milk, I find the cooking process evaporates the water out of the milk and it becomes too thick. So I mix water in beforehand to offset this.

  • Water! I chuck some in a bowl, add some berries (if they aren't crazy expensive) + put a spoon with a bit of honey on it in, and then pour boiling water over it, done! :D

  • I usually go with savoury option like porcini mushroom,
    First thing first you need to soaked dried porcini mushroom with hot water, once its soft you can chop the mushroom and use the mushroom water to cook the oats.
    add the chopped porcini and season the the oats with salt and black pepper then add your eggs ( poached or fried ) and finish it with truffle oil :) good luck

  • +1

    I use skim milk, which is water lying about being milk.

  • Brought up on porridge and only fairly recently switched to steel cut oats. They sounded a bit hipster level pretentious at first but that seems to have passed and the prices are OK. They've got a bit more body and flavour to them.

    I stick a couple of cups of oats in a vacuum flask, twice as much boiling water then heat some the next day and leave the rest in the fridge for the rest of the week.

    I've not gone to the "porridge drawer" extents my grandparents went to.

  • Kids have it with milk.

  • Overnight oats with yogurt
    Or nuke with water because it's free
    Milk is a great item to cut from your diet entirely

  • You can thank me later.

    Lite milk 2 cups in microwave for 2 minutes
    1 cup home brand oats (not quick oats, quick oats are for noobs)

    Cook over medium heat on stove continuously stirring until thick and creamy.

    Serve with 1/2 dessert spoon of butter per serving and golden syrup to taste.

    (Serves 2)

  • +1

    Generally I Don't even bother cooking them, saves power/gas, Oats/honey/milk in a bowl and eat up.

    • +2

      Even more economical if you skip the bowl and just mix in the mouth

      • A cup of cold tea
        Without milk
        Or sugar
        Or tea

    • Same here. Woolies brand Rolled Oats straight into a bowl with milk - no cooking req'd.

  • +1

    Half milk, half water

  • Oats satchet, water. Very bland, but gets the job done 👍

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