I love oatmeal and often have it as my breakfast or use oats in my morning smoothies or even as a topping for my blueberry microwave crumble. Because I’m making my breakfast usually just for me, it makes sense to use a microwave as it’s really quick. The problem is that the oats often overflow and then I spend more time tidying up and wiping the sticky porridge glue than actually making my breakfast.
So what can I do?
Is there a way to stop oatmeal from overflowing the microwave? I thought I’d try few methods to see if I can make my breakfast porridge bowl less sticky!
Don’t cover the bowl in the microwave
This is the first and easy step to take – don’t cover your oatmeal bowl with a lid! If you do, the heat inside is even bigger than outside and the steam will need to escape somewhere. Once you reach the boiling point, you’ll end up with a bit of on oats explosion. Plus if you put a lid on, you can’t see when the oats are starting to ‘grow’ and hitting the top of the bowl.
Watch it like a hawk!
O.K not the most scientific way of making sure your oatmeal won’t overflow, but it works! Every time you see your oats getting dangerously to the top of your bowl, take it out and stir and place back in. The stirring cools down the oats a little bit, distributes the heat more evenly and disturbs the bubbles formation on the top.
Use bigger bowl with higher sides
Doooh, that’s an obvious one, I know, but it’s not always practical to carry a spare huge bowl to work just to make your oatmeal! Even when you are making your oatmeal at home, you are probably thinking that you only want to use one bowl (the one you are going to be using for eating your porridge), so why bother with washing up two bowls?
Cover the top with a cinnamon stick, wooden skewer or chopstics
This really works to a point! If you place something physical like a thick wooden skewer across the bowl the bubbles (at their earlier stages) will ‘pop’ from touching the wood and come down again. But is works only at the beginning of the boiling process and once you get beyond that, your oatmeal might still overflow. This is a similar tip for stopping milk from overboiling.
Boil the oatmeal in water (not milk)
It depends on your recipe and what type of oatmeal you are using, but it’s possible to boil your breakfast oatmeal with water first and then add cream or yoghurt to achieve creamier taste without the oatmeal overflowing. This is caused, partially, by the fat content in the milk, so removing it helps.
Interrupt the boiling process
If you add your oatmeal to your microwave for 5 minutes, it will definitely make a huge sticky mess. But if you do 1 or 2 minutes at the time, you have a better chance of not getting your oatmeal everywhere! Add to microwave for 1 or 1 1/2 minute initially, then take out, steer (even leave out for a bit) and then add back to microwave for further 1 minute or so.
Lower the temperature and boil for longer
Most modern microwaves are way too powerful for something as small as a bowl of porridge for one, so lowering the outage setting (from 800V to 600v or 400v) does make a difference. Your oatmeal will cook/boil slower (depending on the type of oats) and will be brought to the boiling point more gradually, which will prevent the overflowing issue. It will also give you time to catch it if it does.