Alton Brown's Coffee Maker Hack For Flavorful Instant Oatmeal

Oatmeal may not be on your list of favorite breakfast foods to start your day right, but maybe it should be. The instant version is both convenient and nutritious. Statista reports that in 2020, 8.2 million people in the United States mixed up 10 or more packets of Quaker instant oatmeal, while 54.96 million gave it the old college try and ate between one and four bowls of this hot cereal. While its thick texture can be an acquired taste, health experts are quick to laud its fiber content, along with its ability to keep your tummy feeling satiated.

But oatmeal is not just for those who want to eat healthily. It can also be economical. Alton Brown shares this quick meal is perfect for those traveling, especially if don't want to order room service and spend $12 plus the 24% service charge for a bowl of this grain. In fact, the celebrity chef has a DIY hack that will produce a flavorful breakfast that is equally as delicious for a fraction of the hotel's price. Brown also boasts that you can make it in just five minutes, which means you don't have to worry about ordering and waiting.

Use a coffee maker

Alton Brown explains in a Food Network video that if you want oatmeal in a pinch, remember to pack a few individual packets of oatmeal in your suitcase, along with some packets of honey and jam. This is what he calls your "emergency oatmeal kit." But what do you do with this kit? The "Good Eats" host shares that if your room has a good old fashion coffee maker, which most of them do, you can make up a customized bowl that will be ready to eat by the time you put on your shoes and socks.

How does this oatmeal hack work? Simply, dump your packet of oatmeal, along with the honey and jam, into the coffee pot. And don't forget to add a pinch of salt which will help to enhance oatmeal's nutty flavor. Easy enough. But Brown has one other magic recommendation. Place an herbal teabag into the brew basket. This will impart a delicious taste to your oatmeal as the eight to 10 ounces of water as it passes through the brew system of the coffee maker. Another advantage of this oatmeal hack is the heating element will keep the coffee carafe of oatmeal warm until you are ready to chow down. 

Of course, if you make oatmeal in your hotel coffee maker, just make certain you clean it out before you check out!