Dehydrating steel cut oatmeal for backpacking

I like the chewy texture of steel cut oats, but they take ~25 minutes of simmering to soften. This makes steel cut oats difficult for wilderness backpacking. I decided to try dehydrating and then rehydrating pre-cooked oatmeal to explore this option for an upcoming trip.

Pre-cooked steel cut oatmeal and fresh mango on dehydrator trays.

It took about 12 hours in the dehydrator until the oatmeal became brittle. The mango was dry after 8 hours or so.

Dehydrated oatmeal and mangos in pot for rehydration.

To rehydrate, I added just enough water to cover the dehydrated oats and mango and simmered the mixture for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to break up the pieces. The result was pretty similar to my standard steel cut oatmeal preparation (without the dehydration-rehydration step). However, I think a few additional minutes of simmering would have made it better.

Overall, I think this method could work for backpacking, but it's not worth the effort when rolled or "quick cook steel cut" oats can be cooked from scratch in the time needed to rehydrate steel cut oats. However, the mango was excellent and rehydrated very well.