Learn how to store your oatmeal properly to preserve its freshness and nutritional value.
To save money and time, it is often better to buy oatmeal in bulk and cook more at once. However, many people don’t really know how to keep oatmeal fresh, so they end up tossing away a lot of it that has spoiled or gone stale.
How do you store cooked oatmeal? It should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. By doing so, you can prevent spoilage and the growth of bacteria. Up to 5 days of storage are possible for cooked oatmeal in the fridge. Canned oatmeal can be frozen for 3 months.
When you understand how to store oatmeal correctly, you can make sure none of it goes to waste, and make the most of it. Check out the following article for tips on how to store cooked oatmeal.
Storing Cooked Oatmeal
Making too much oatmeal is easy, and you will not want to throw the leftovers away.
If you make a large portion of oatmeal, then you can keep some for a week’s worth of meals. If you store it in a container, then you can store it for a later time.
In this way, you can eat oatmeal every morning of the working week without having to cook it up in the morning if you store it properly after cooking.
Cooked oatmeal can be stored in three different ways, and they are all great for different storage times:
- Refrigerating – Oatmeal can be stored in the fridge for several days, which is the most convenient option if you plan to eat the oatmeal soon. In the refrigerator, you can keep oatmeal in single servings for up to 5 days.
- Freezing – You can store your oatmeal in the freezer if you don’t plan to consume it within a couple of days and wish to extend its shelf life even further. Up to 3 months can be kept in the freezer for oatmeal.
- Dehydrating – You can place your oatmeal in a dehydrator if you do not want to store it in the refrigerator or freezer. It is recommended that you keep dehydrated oatmeal in a cool, dark, and dry place for three months. The container should be airtight to ensure it remains in the best condition.
You can use any of these methods to make plain oatmeal, but keep in mind that toppings will have to be added later. It is possible that some toppings do not preserve adequately and may alter the taste and texture of your oatmeal.
Choosing the Best Storage Container for Cooked Oatmeal
A container that is airtight is necessary to store leftover cooked oatmeal. Keeping oatmeal away from excessive moisture and air will prevent spoilage.
- Freezer bags – There are several benefits to using freezer bags, such as their durability and the fact that you can stack them together to save some space. A semipermeable membrane keeps oatmeal protected from moisture. Frozen bags have two shortcomings: they do not retain odors and are not always reusable.
- Glass containers – Cooked oatmeal is often served in glass containers. They close airtight, don’t retain odors, can be used over and over again, and shut airtight. There aren’t many disadvantages to using glass containers, but keep in mind that they are heavy and can break easily.
- Plastic containers – This type of container is very handy. The best ones are durable, stackable, and shut airtight. The downside of using plastic containers to store cooked oatmeal is that they tend to hold odors, so you need to be aware of that when using them.
Immediately after cooking the oatmeal, you should refrigerate it. When food is left out for more than two hours at room temperature, bacterial growth occurs, which can cause foodborne illnesses.
You can either leave out the oatmeal at room temperature and add some more liquid to it when you are ready to eat it, or you can microwave it to microwave it, or you can cook it on the stove until it is hot.
The oatmeal should be warmed evenly over the heat, then removed from the heat. Stir it again to ensure that everything is well mixed. If necessary, add more liquid if necessary.
How to Store Dried Oatmeal Long Term
Dried oatmeal will last more or less as long as you store it properly. Just taking a few precautions can make it last longer.
Here are the conditions you should ensure your dried oatmeal is kept in:
- Clean – Oats should be stored in a clean area to avoid pests destroying them.
- Cool – Maintaining a constant temperature is crucial for preserving the nutrients in oatmeal.
- Dark – To keep the nutrients of the oats, the oats should be kept in a dark environment with little light exposure.
- Dry – Oatmeal is prone to absorbing moisture, which causes mold growth. It is important to keep it dry.
The ideal place to store oatmeal will depend on how you store it. Below are some tips on how to store oatmeal:
- Pantry – Dry oats store well in the pantry if it is well-ventilated, dark, and cool.
- Fridge – The refrigerator is cool, dark, and dry, so it’s the ideal place to store dried oatmeal.
- Freezer – You can freeze dried oatmeal to help extend its shelf life, but if you don’t have much freezer space, it may not be the best option.
A dried oatmeal can be kept for as long as 24 months when it is stored correctly.
While they might still be edible after 24 months, their quality will not be as good as it was before. You should be able to consume them all!
Can Oatmeal Go Bad?
Oatmeal cannot be tested to determine whether it’s bad or not. As for whether you can eat the oatmeal, you should rely on your senses.
The oatmeal should be discarded if it looks off or appears discolored, or if it smells or tastes strange. Mold or soft oatmeal should be looked for.
You have the option of using old oatmeal as a bath bomb, body scrub, or face mask if you have leftover oatmeal to get rid of.
Hopefully we have explained everything you need to know about storing cooked oatmeal, but just in case, we have gathered a few common questions so you can explore them further.
Can you freeze oatmeal toppings?
Cook your oatmeal plain before freezing it, then add apples and cinnamon or other extra ingredients later when reheating it. This way you can enjoy your oatmeal with some extra ingredients.
After thawing and reheating these ingredients cooked with oatmeal the first time around, they can go soggy and mushy.
The cinnamon or nutmeg in oatmeal may taste different after it has been frozen and thawed, so you might not be able to discern the original flavor.
To make the oatmeal soft, place it in the microwave or oven for a few minutes to allow it to thaw, and stir in the additional spices and ingredients.
Can you make oatmeal ahead of time and reheat it?
It is possible to reheat oatmeal made in advance. It is much easier to do this than to have to make oatmeal every day from scratch.
Then, on Monday, you can enjoy a serving of oatmeal every morning for the rest of the week by cooking up an oatmeal batch on Sunday and storing it in the fridge in single-serving containers.
If you want, you can microwave or cook the oatmeal and add whatever extras you desire.
Can I eat oatmeal that sat out all day?
A day-old oatmeal should not be consumed. Do not leave out oatmeal longer than two hours.
When it sits at room temperature for more than this amount of time, bacteria can grow, and foodborne illnesses can result.
Can I store oats in a can?
Cans can be used to store dry goods if you have the appropriate canning equipment. A can can only be used once and cannot be resealed.
Even so, it gives the oatmeal a sense of protection, keeping it dry and in a dark place.
What are the best ways to cook oatmeal?
From the stovetop to the microwave, there are many ways to cook oatmeal.
Our favorite way to make oatmeal is to use an oatmeal cooker, but if you are looking for a faster solution or don’t want to clutter your kitchen with another appliance, you have plenty of other options.
As well as these different cooking methods, you can flavor your oatmeal using a number of different toppings, such as eggs, avocado, and cinnamon sugar.
The YouTube channel Simply Quinoa posted a great video on 6 ways to cook oatmeal.
Storing Cooked Oatmeal: Final Thoughts
If stored properly, dried oatmeal can be kept in the cupboard for up to a year. You can eat cooked oatmeal up to 3 months after it has been cooked if you keep it in the refrigerator.
Dry and cooked oatmeal can be stored in a few ways, so there is no need to dispose of leftovers.
A tightly sealed container is crucial for storing cooked oatmeal. Then, choosing the right environment for storage helps to extend the shelf life of oatmeal even further.
Get ahead of the week by making a batch of oatmeal, storing it properly, and enjoying it for breakfast!