This study measured the solvent retention capacities (SRCs) of flours from eight oat varieties and one wheat variety against different solvents to explore the swelling volume of oat flour with different solvents, and thus provide a theoretical basis for quick β-glucan analysis. The SRC profile consists of water SRC (WSRC), 50% sucrose SRC (SSRC), 5% lactic acid SRC (LASRC), 5% Na2CO3 SRC (SCASRC), NaCl SRC (SCSRC), CaCl2 SRC (CCSRC), FeCl3 SRC (FCSRC), sodium cholate SRC (SCHSRC), NaOH (pH 10) SRC (SHSRC), Na2CO3 (pH 10) SRC (SCABSRC) and SDS (pH 10) SRC (SDSSRC) values, and a Chopin SRC kit was used to measure the SRC value. SRCs of the oat flours increased when the solvents turned from neutral (water and NaCl) to acidic (5% lactic acid) or alkaline (5% Na2CO3, CaCl2, FeCl3, NaOH and pH... 10 Na2CO3), and rose as the metal ion valencies of the metal salts (NaCl, CaCl2 and FeCl3) increased. The β-glucan contents were significantly positively correlated with the SCSRC (0.83**), CCSRC (0.82**), SCHSRC (0.80**) and FCSRC (0.78*). SRC measurements of β-glucan in oat flours revealed that the CCSRC values were related with β-glucan (0.64*) but not related with protein and starch. CaCl2 could therefore potentially be exploited as a reagent for β-glucan assay.