How to Cook Steel Cut Oats
After explaining the differences between rolled oats and steel cut oats a couple years ago, it was plain as day which was more popular! Tons of comments poured in in favor of steel cut oats!
Nearly everyone loved the taste and texture, but there was this one little drawback – steel cut oats take longer to cook than rolled oats. And if purchased in bulk (the cheapest way to buy steel cut oats,) you don’t get cooking instructions!
Therefore, I have prepared these instructions on how to cook steel cut oats! Continue reading to discover the most popular preparation methods…
Cooking on the Stove
This is your standard method of preparing steel cut oats, but it’s also the most time consuming.
- Start by bringing 4 cups water to a boil.
- Then add in 1 cup oats, plus a pinch of salt. Mix well.
- Once water returns to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover, but leave the lid tilted.
- To ensure the traditional rich nutty flavor, avoid overcooking.
That does it.
You can also experiment to find your preferred style. For example, you might use a ratio of 3 cups water to 1 cup oats. Or maybe you prefer using 2 cups water and 2 cups milk to 1 cup oats.
Nuking In the Microwave
If you don’t want to mess with the stove just to make a bowl of oatmeal for yourself, you can use the microwave instead.
- Mix 1/2 cup of steel cut oats with 2 cups of water in an 8 cup bowl (the size of the bowl is important as it must be large enough to allow the oats to bubble up without spilling over).
- Microwave covered (I use a paper plate) for 5 minutes on high.
- Stir. Finish cooking for another 5 minutes.
Alternatively, use 1/4 cup steel cut oats and 1 cup water, if you only have a smaller bowl, or want a smaller breakfast. If you do this, you can reduce cooking times to 2:30 segments, rather than 5:00.
*Since microwaves vary in size and power, cooking times may need to be adjusted for different models.
Soak Overnight, Then Cook (On Stove)
This is the second method of cooking steel cut oats on the stove. You can soak your steel cut oats the night before and leave it on the stove overnight, for less prep time in the morning.
- As before, use 4 cups water and 1 cup oats. First bring the water to a boil, then add oats.
- Stir until it boils again then cover.
- Turn off heat.
- Let sit overnight.
- When you do it this way, the oats should be ready in the morning as-is or with just 5 minutes cooking time, rather than 30.
The oats can sit out on the stove overnight without going bad. Just keep them covered.
Tip: Toast Oats On Stove Before Cooking
My favorite way to fix steel cuts oats overnight is to toast them in a teaspoon of butter or coconut oil, then add the water and bring to a boil.
In a large saucepot, melt the butter or oil and add the oats. Stir for 2 minutes to toast. Then you can continue with adding the water, etc.
Toasting before boiling brings out even more of that toasty, nutty flavor.
Cooking In a Slow Cooker (or Crock Pot)
Steel cut oats can be made in a slow cooker on low overnight and ready for breakfast!
- Be sure to spray the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray first.
- Add your 4 cups water and 1 cup oats.
- Just put it on the “keep warm” setting and the oats cook overnight.
Note: If you have a crock pot with just “low” and “high” settings, use low, and watch them. You probably can’t cook overnight on low, it’s still too hot!
Like microwaves, each slow cooker may cook differently. So test it out during the day to get the timing right, before leaving them to cook overnight when you’re not watching them!!
Don’t forget to flavor your oatmeal!
Click here for my suggestions on additional ingredients to flavor your oats.
When doing steel cut oats, you would typically add the extras after they are cooked or close to the end of the cooking cycle. Dried fruit and such does not need a lot of cooking time like the oats themselves!
Just choose the option that is the most convenient for you. They all work, and if you make a good size batch on the weekend, it will probably feed you all week. Then all you have to do is reheat the oats in the microwave for a bit each morning.
Enjoy your oats!
Photo credit: belizardi