Oats Shelf Life: How Long Do Oats Last?

What is the average shelf life of oats? How long do oats last in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer? What is the best way to store oats to increase its shelf life? Find out the answers to these questions and more below:

Shelf Life of Oats

Uncooked3-5 YearsN/AN/A
CookedN/A5-6 Days4-6 Months

Oatmeal is one of the favorite hot cereals which can be used in many other recipes. It has low-fat content and high in fiber making it a perfect nutritional choice. The oatmeal is prepared by heating it on the stove top, then adding sugar and milk to it. Oats is one of the healthy food options which aids in lowering the blood cholesterol levels. If you opt for old-fashioned oatmeal, it takes around 5 minutes for cooking. People believe that cereal does not spoil because it is a dried grain.

The shelf life of oatmeal varies depending on the packaging, variety and storage method. If cereal is appropriately stored, it can last beyond the expiry date mentioned on the product.

What Should You Look for While Purchasing Oats?

  • Check the expiry date
  • Types of oats as there are four different kinds of oats available such as oat-groats, steel-cut oats, rolled oats and oat bran
  • Choose an oatmeal labeled with 100% whole grain
  • If you want to save money, look for local or minor brands as they are more or less similar.
  • Choose the oatmeal with 5 grams fiber as it is more than enough for one serving
  • Check the fat, protein and other contents while buying the cereal.

How to Handle Oats?

Practice food safety methods and proper hygiene which prevents the foodborne illness. Use reliable instruments for checking the expiry of oats.

All types of oats are stirred while cooking except the whole oat groats. For oat groats, the water is boiled with groats in a pot and simmer for 40-60 minutes till you feel them tender. You can then season it with fruits, milk, spices or sweetener.

How to Store Oats?

If you have a dry mix or packaged oatmeal, store it in a cold, sterile environment where there are no temperature changes. When you place the oats under different temperatures, i.e., from cold to warm atmosphere, it captures moisture in the packaging. The moisture then leads to mold growth and spoils the oatmeal.

If you have prepared the oatmeal, then store it in the refrigerator, i.e., below 40 degrees Fahrenheit after you use it. Store the prepared meal in air-tight containers which prevent the moisture and contaminants from entering in the pot. Use a clean silverware for serving the oatmeal to avoid cross-contamination.

How to Cook With Oats?

Oats can be used in many favorite recipes by making a slow-cooker oatmeal, oatmeal smoothie recipes or refrigerator oatmeal. Add milk, sweeteners, spices, fruits and blend it in oatmeal. You can also prepare baked items with the incorporation of oats in them.