Steel Cut Oatmeal

Yes it's true. A lesson on steel cut oats. Those instructions on the package sound no fail. But are they? I've over/under-cooked enough oats to cry uncle forever.

That was until Sister-in-law Amy's slow cooker oatmeal recipe arrived via email. I nabbed a 1.5 quart crock pot, in turquoise, for eight bucks at Target. The games began.

I tried the recipe several times. Tasted great. Took some patience. Not a good combo for me. Lots of timing and pot scrubbing involved. My pragmatic inner voice said, "There must be another way!"

My solution is a mash up of the slow cooker recipe and the package instructions. No more wasted oats. No more head shaking at breakfast. Just me and a hot bowl of goodness.

The turquoise slow cooker goes to the next college student who walks through my door.


For this recipe, use a pot that conducts heat well. If you're scratching your head go buy yourself the best pot you can afford. Trust me here. Thank me later.

This quantity makes 4-5 servings. I make this ahead since it takes a while.

In a 2-4 quart pot add:

  • 5 cups cold water
  • 5 pinches of Kosher salt (or any salt)
  • 1.25 cups steel cut oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon each nutmeg, coriander, cloves, cardamom (any combo will do)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Give it a good stir with a heat-proof spatula (one used for scraping not flipping).

Heat pot on medium high until just boiling. Lower heat to low and cover the pot with the lid.

Now for the tricky part. Bring the oats to a slow, steady simmer and set a timer for 30 minutes. Do not walk away. Remain in the area to monitor the simmer, avoiding the boil-over. You may need to adjust the heat a few times during cooking.

After 30 minutes (or so) taste an oat or two. I like mine al dente so as soon as it's edible I turn off the heat and let it sit, uncovered. The water will evaporate a little and get absorbed by the oats (I think that's called "reducing the liquid" but don't quote me).

Stir in some sweetener. I use:
  • 1 tablespoon Agave or honey

You may now leave the area. Take a shower. Walk around the block. Upon your return breakfast should be ready.

If the oatmeal is still too watery or al dente for you cook it a bit longer. Note that as it cools in the pot cooking will continue, like magic! 

Store leftovers in an air tight container. Reheat in the microwave.