When is my granola done cooking?

So the main trick in making granola is knowing when the granola is done cooking.  Of course, you want crispy granola, but when the granola is cooked and comes out of the oven, it will still feel soft.  It doesn’t get crispy until it cools.  So how do you know when it’s done?

You need to watch the color of your granola.  In the figure above, the granola on the right is not done.  It’s a lighter color and all the oats are pretty much the same color.  The granola on the right is done, and you can tell because a good portion of the oats have turned to a golden brown.

This granola IS NOT done:

This granola IS done:

So when you are making granola, after the granola cooked for 20-25 minutes, you’ll want to check it every 3-5 minutes to watch for the change in color.  The oats near the outer edges of the baking sheet will usually start turning brown first.  Once a good portion of the oats have turned brown, then take it out of the oven and let the granola cool.  Once it’s fully cooled, it will be nice and crunchy.

Once in a while, I pull the granola out of the oven and discover that it wasn’t quite done cooking.  How do I discover this?  When it cools, the granola is still slightly chewy.  If you like chewy granola, then it’s no problem.  But if you wanted crunchy granola – don’t worry!  It isn’t ruined.  Simply heat your oven to 325F and cook the granola again for 5-10 minutes or until a good portion of the oats have turned brown.

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