Rolled oats are convenient, inexpensive, and versatile, but there is nothing like the taste of fresh rolled oats. To obtain this freshness, you must have an oat roller. There are several rollers or flakers on the market. I have personally tested and sell three of them. The Marga Oat Roller, Norpro Grain Grinder, and the Family Flaker Mill.
The first oat roller our family purchased was a Marga Oat Roller. It is a very simple machine which is used to roll oats and other grains. This roller clamps on a table or counter and is operated by a hand crank. The mechanism used consists of three roller bars which the grain is forced through. It can be operated on setting 1 for a coarse flour or settings 2 and 3 for flakes. Oat groats flake better than any other grain using this machine. Other grains are harder and tend to crack before they flake. They must be soaked before attempting to roll them. I have enjoyed cracking wheat to get a whole grain cereal similar to Cream of Wheat. I also crack other grains such as rye or buckwheat groats for a similar texture.
Marga Oat Roller Is Trouble-free
This machine operates so easily that a four year old has no trouble turning out a hopper full of oats. During the more than 5 years I have owned this oat roller, I have never had a problem with the machine, nor has it required any maintenance to keep it fully functional. The rollers are made of aluminum that release absolutely no metal residue. The only troubles reported by customers I have sold these to were simple defects in the clamp or hand crank. The company quickly sent out a replacement part with no cost to the customers.
Find Your Setting
This machine is one that I had to play with to find the right setting for me. The oats coming out on setting three are thick, and hearty. They resemble old fashioned oats. We prefer this, as you actually get to chew when you eat them instead of them being mushy. One drawback of the machine is that it does not come apart so oily grains cannot be run through it alone or they will clog the rollers.
Marga Oat Roller Can Mill Flour
While it usually is not marketed as a grain mill, this machine is capable of making a coarse flour. It will never be fine enough to make a light and airy bread, but if no other grinder is available, it will make a coarse meal that can be used. I’ve gotten spoiled by some good quality grain mills, so I don’t use this for grinding flour.
Purchase the Marga Oat Roller / Grain Flaker at KitchenKneads.com
A little over two years ago a company named Norpro came out with a machine they marketed as a grain grinder that is identical in appearance to the Marga Oat Roller. This machine is made in China, whereas the Marga is made in Italy. This roller performs identically to the Marga in all ways, but it does have textured rollers made of hardened surgical steel, instead of the aluminum of the Marga. It has a three year warranty.
Norpro is Versaile
The company says it will grind wheat, rye, barley, soy and other dry seeds or legumes. I have not attempted to grind all of these grains. Since it has only been on the market for a little over two years, its long-term durability is still being tested. To date I, nor any customers of mine, have had any issues with this model.
Purchase the Norpro Oat Roller / Grain Flaker at Amazon.com
A third grain roller I have used is the Family Flaker Mill. This also operates with a hand crank, but there is a motor base available as well as adaptors to use it with a Bosch Universal Plus and Bosch Compact Mixer, Kitchen Aid stand mixers, Viking mixer, and the Kitchenetics Kitchen Machine. It is very easy to operate by hand, but the motor does cut the time to complete the rolling in half.
Family Flaker Mill Flakes Many Grains
This flaker will flake other grains besides oats without the extra step of soaking. It will easily handle wheat, rye, spelt, kamut, and flax seeds. One great feature is that it is quick and easy to take apart for cleaning. This makes it ideal for those with someone in the house who is gluten intolerant and doesn’t want the gluten from one grain to contaminate a gluten-free grain. Simply roll or flake the gluten containing grain, wash the machine, and then roll or flake the gluten-free grains.
Family Flaker Mill is Trouble-free
The product is made of Lexan with hardened surgical steel rollers. Like the other rollers, I have never had a problem with this roller nor had any customers with complaints. This is only a roller/flaker, not a grain grinder of any kind. It will not make flour, but there is another attachment that can be bought to make flour.
Purchase the Family Flaker Mill / Oat Roller at homestylemercantile.com
The Best Oat Roller For You
When trying to choose which machine is best to purchase, one must decided what you want your machine to do. If you want the ability to grind flour occasionally, the Family Flaker Mill will not work. If having absolutely no metallic residue in your grains is really important, the Marga is the way to go. It is the only one on the market that has aluminum rollers. Cost can also be a factor. The Norpro machine is about half the price of the Marga. The Family Flaker Mill with the hand crank is close to $150, but you can use the hand crank with other attachments. If flaking grains is your primary goal, the Family Flaker Mill can’t be beat. You can add a mixture of grains, flake them, and in minutes have a super nutritious multi-grain hot cereal on a cold morning or a multi-grain muesli on a hot morning.
– - Review done by Jodi Hein
(check out our Flaking Your Own Grains article)