5 tips to make restaurant-quality oatmeal at home, according to a chef

There’s something about restaurant oatmeal that’s somehow always better than when you make it at home. It’s perfectly creamy, not at all goopy, and has a certain flavour profile that you can’t quite accomplish with your stovetop oats at home.

Or can you? We asked an oatmeal expert, Chef Nate Weir director of culinary at Modern Market Eatery for his best tips to make your homemade oatmeal taste like it came from a restaurant.

Don’t take shortcuts.

Daniella Segura / FlickrInstant oatmeal just isn’t as good as rolled oats.

“Instant or quick-cook oats can be convenient, and definitely cook faster, but the tradeoff is they tend to lose their texture and wind up mushy, no matter how you cook them,” Weir said.

“Try rolled oats for better texture with just a few more minutes of cooking. The difference is worth the time.”

Read more: Not all oats are the same – here’s how to choose the best ones for breakfast

Prepare multiple servings at once.

Flickr/uniform-studioYou can always reheat oatmeal.

“Skip the individual packets, and treat oatmeal as weekly meal prep instead,” Weir said. “After cooking a bigger batch, let it cool and then refrigerate. To reheat, add some cold water and then microwave in 45-second bursts, stirring in between.”

Toast your oats.

thebittenword.com / FlickrIt will add more depth to the flavour.

“To boost the flavour, toast the oats in melted butter – or even better, coconut oil – in a saucepan over medium heat, before adding liquid. Stir occasionally, until the oats start to smell like popcorn,” Weir said.

When the oats are toasty, cook them the way you usually would. “This adds a nice warm nutty flavour, and because you’re cooking the oats a little it doesn’t add any prep time,” Weir said.

Cook your oats in something creamy.

ShutterstockThis will improve the texture of the oatmeal.

“Don’t use just water,” Weir said. “Using milk or almond milk, soy milk, etc., for part of the liquid makes oatmeal richer and creamier. Try using half milk and half water to start, then adjust to taste.”

Add salt.

Flickr/Rachel HathawayEverything is better with salt.

Even if you’re a fan of sweetening your oatmeal, salt is a necessary ingredient in oat prep.

“Yes, you should season your oatmeal with salt,” Weir said. “Just a little pinch at the beginning of cooking will help bring out the flavour.”

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