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A tribute to the obsessive classification of oatmeal types, pinhead oats are also known as steel-cut oats, Irish oats, Scotch oats, coarse-cut oats, porridge oats, and their counterparts. (Steel-cut oatmeal, Irish oatmeal, Scotch oatmeal, pinhead oatmeal....)

All of these are groats that have been chopped into small pieces. This makes them chewier than rolled oats, so they are often preferred in cereals and muesli. Rolled oats, on the other hand, take less time to cook; the other alternative, whole oat groats, take much longer to cook but are very chewy.

Pinhead oats are commonly used in baking and in porridge, as might be expected, as well as in haggis, vegetarian haggis, and the brewing of certain beers. There is also a certain cheese, known as Gruth Dhu, which is coated with peppercorns and pinhead oatmeal.

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