Reviews you can trust.See why.
The Best Rolled Oats
We prefer rolled oats for baked goods, since their thin, flat shape gives cookies, bars, and toppings just the right amount of chew.
Top PicksSee Everything We Tested
What You Need To Know
We prefer rolled oats for baked goods, since their thin, flat shape gives cookies, bars, and toppings just the right amount of chew. In addition, they make good oatmeal relatively quickly. To find the best rolled oats, we rounded up five contenders and sampled each product as oatmeal (prepared according to package instructions) and in our recipe for Chewy Oatmeal Cookies (where we weighed the oats to ensure consistency).
In the oatmeal test, three products were nutty and hearty, but two were borderline unpalatable: one was too clumpy and dry, and the other was a gluey mass of goop. Worse, some tasters noticed a metallic, chemical taste in the gluey oats. Products that were mushy or parched in oatmeal made cookies that were a tad dense or dry. We were perplexed, too, by the appearance of cookies made with one “extra-thick” product; they spread into flat disks with crispy edges.
To find out why, we took a closer look at the oats. There wasn’t a noticeable difference when we examined the raw extra-thick oats next to standard rolled oats, but when we painstakingly counted out 100 oats from each product and weighed them on a lab-grade scale, it turned out that the extra-thick oats had about 1,114 oats per ounce, while our preferred products had an average of about 1,200 oats per ounce. That may not seem like a huge difference, but when you consider that there are 9 ounces of oats in our standard cookie recipe, that adds up to more than 700 fewer oats to soak up liquid and provide structure—it’s no wonder that cookies made with the extra-thick oats spread so thin.
Our new winner, Bob’s Red Mill Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, makes perfectly formed cookies and hearty, creamy oatmeal in about 10 minutes.
Everything We Tested
“This is how an oatmeal cookie should taste,” said one happy taster. Our panel praised these oats’ “toasty flavor” and “tender” texture, which had “just the right amount of chew.” The oatmeal was “very hearty” and “tender,” with a distinct “nuttiness.”
These oats made a “nutty,” “earthy” bowl of oatmeal in 20 minutes. But fewer oats per ounce caused the cookies to spread in the oven, producing “lacy,” “crunchy” edges. While we loved the oatmeal they made, we didn’t think they produced good cookies and we don’t recommend them for baking.
These familiar oats made oatmeal that was “tender” and “hearty,” with a “clean oat flavor,” in just 5 minutes, though a couple of tasters remarked that the oatmeal was “just a touch dry” when we followed the manufacturer’s instructions. The oats’ long, thin flakes produced cookies that were “soft,” “tender,” and “tall.”
Recommended with reservations
Many tasters remarked that oatmeal made with this product was “too dry” and “grainy,” but most still praised its “nutty,” “earthy” flavor (even though we followed the manufacturer’s recipe, some tasters suggested that these oats would benefit from longer cooking). Cookies were “nicely crisp at the edges” and “chewy inside,” though a few tasters deemed them “slightly on the dry side.”
These small flakes practically disintegrated in oatmeal, making a porridge that was a bit “gummy” and reminiscent of “microwave oatmeal.” Some also commented on a “metallic,” “bitter” aftertaste. Since there were more oats per ounce in this product, cookies were on the “dense” side, though most tasters thought they were still “chewy” and “tender.”
Reviews you can trust
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing.