I love to be helpful, so when I manage to provide readers with something useful, thought-provoking, or dig up information they can use to solve a problem, I’m thrilled. That’s why it’s been unexpected but delightful to discover that one particular blog post seems to fit the bill.
This post, explaining step-by-step how to cook steel cut oats overnight by using a crock pot as a double-boiler (the “bain-marie” method, if you will), has far and away more hits that any other post in all my years of blogging. Its rise to helpful-fame started with some linky-love from a heavily trafficked blogger and has spread from there.
So while I never could have predicted it, I’ve kind of become the Steel Cut Oatmeal Girl.
Who knows? I might ride in a parade this summer wearing a sash and modest crown woven from the stalks of summer grains. I’m practicing the pageant wave, just in case. I live in the Midwest, where it’s actually possible to win the title of Steel Cut Oatmeal Princess…maybe even a Steel Cut Oatmeal Queen.
I feel it’s my duty as Steel Cut Oatmeal Girl to point you to additional steel cut oatmeal information that may add to your enjoyment and ease of preparation.
So while I continue to prepare mine exactly as I chronicled in the photos and text (served with brown sugar and blueberries), I’d like to provide you with options.
A wide range of creative toppings and add-ins are listed below.
I will say this, however (I also feel obligated to offer an editorial comment): I tried some of the other methods of preparation (except rice cooker—don’t own one) outlined below and found that the resulting consistency and taste of the steel cut oats was chewier and nuttier that that of the bain-marie method. Some people prefer their steel cut oats to be chewy and nutty. I like a creamier texture, but that’s just me. Experimentation is encouraged.
So, in the name of helpfulness, I give you highlights pulled directly from the comments at the original post.
I’m telling you, these people know their oats. I may have to concede any right to the Steel Cut Oatmeal crown to one of these good folks.
I love the crock pot! I make a similar recipe — I do the one cup of oats and four cups of water. Then I add a 1/2 cup of half and half and a cup each of dried cranberries and yellow raisins. So good — and it does feel like some prepared breakfast for you!
I just bought some steel cut oats a Mennonite bulk food store this weekend. I need to try this. My fruit of choice for adding to oatmeal is RASPBERRIES!~ Love it!
Well, that solves a problem I’ve been trying to figure out for awhile. I couldn’t figure out how to keep it from sticking to the crockpot. I’ve even tried cooking spray to no avail. Thanks Ann! We like our oatmeal with a spoonful or two of sunflower or cashew butter on top. Mmmmm! Or sometimes we put apples, cinnamon and dried cranberries in the crockpot. Now I’m hungry.
Thanks for a great article. I’ve not fixed oatmeal this way before and I’m going to try it. I’ve been making a baked oatmeal which our guests like, and this will be a great addition to our menu! Dried cranberries, raisins, chopped apples, toasted walnuts or pecans (toast them first… really makes a difference!), or any other dried fruit would be a nice addition, as you mentioned. Thanks again!
Many years ago, back when Martha did the show without all the celebrity guests…she did a thing on steel cut oats and said to speed it up in the morning.. just put it in the water overnight…in the morning cook it…cuts WAY down on the time and that is with the tin can kind. I also buy the old fashion Quaker Oats…not the quick or instant kind ,the regular kind…I cook it in the microwave for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, the trick there is a bowl big enough not to boil over, but once you know which bowl that works it’s not a problem. 1/2 cup oatmeal 1 cup water 2 :30 minutes and you have great oatmeal.Carole
I can’t thank you enough for sharing this cooking method! One of the main reasons I wanted a crock pot was to cook oatmeal in, but I was terribly disappointed in the results. I tried your method and it works beautifully! I was so happy when I scooped the first serving out; now I can enjoy my oatmeal as often as I like. I mix in a variety of things like raisins, cashews, sunflower seeds, etc. It works great to microwave the leftovers. I couldn’t be happier!
I laughed when I saw Mary’s comment (#2) because as soon as I saw the words ‘overnight’ and ‘hot cereal’ in the same sentence I thought of Red River cereal too! My family grew up on that stuff and we did it in the crockpot without the bowl inside. I will be sure to try this method next time I buy steel-cut oats. Thank you so much!
Finally got to try this…I used Bob’s Red Mill brand of steel-cut oats, only I had to use a 1:3 oats:water ratio. Mmm! And perfectly cooked!
I don’t think that I will sleep tonight, the anticipation of breakfast will be too much! I literally read this, got up from my computer and set up my crock pot. I added apples and raisins. I hope that my little girls are just as excited as I am. Thank you!
Great recipe! Makes me want to wip up a batch of Irish steel cut oats myself along w/ raisins, blueberries, maple syrup and some cinnamon. If I can recommend my foolproof measure of cooking that seems to require less work- an automatic fuzzy logic rice cooker. I throw everything in, set it to porridge setting , and in less than an hour, it’s cooked to perfection, and clean up is a snap. It also cooks rice , beans etc. to perfection. It’s got a timer, so you can set it the night before and have a steaming dish of perfection for breakfast. If you haven’t tried one -go for it. One of the greatest items I’ve ever purchased. Mine is a Zorirushi NS-LAC05 model. Google it. There are larger models as well. Mine has lasted over 3 years without any problems. And I also use Country Choice Organic Irisg Oats-steel cut. The Best!
I make my steel cut oats in the microwave, then reheat them the next day. No need to refrigerate. Since I know exactly how much water and oats to use in my large bowls, I just set the microwave for 6 min. and go away. Sometime later…perhaps 10 minutes, perhaps a few hours, I stir and cover them to keep the dust out. Next day I reheat for 3 min. and am ready to go. They are always perfect. I add frozen blueberries to my oats. As the berries thaw in the hot oats, they cool off the oats a little and you can eat them right away.
Just gave you some link love at my site! I tried steel-cut oats in my rice cooker and they were perfect!
I’ve another way to prepare if you dont have a crock-pot. (I’m thinking of running out and buying one) . Simply put 1 cup of steel cut oats into your cooking pot, add 3 cups of water and let sit overnite. In the morning, stir and cook on stove about 5 minutes. That’s it. Add goodies as desired.
brilliant. thank you for posting this. in return, I offer this: take a cup of your nummy oatmeal, mix it with a small container of plain, lemon or vanilla yogurt. Mix in fresh or dried fruit and nuts. Refrigerate overnight. Next morning, cold oatmeal that looks and has the mouth texture of tapioca or rice pudding. Great for breakfast on a hot summer day, when you want your oatmeal, but not the heat.
I made steel cut oatmeal last night (using the above directions) and it worked GREAT. The oatmeal had the same texture that it takes to cook on the stove for 30 minutes. I cooked it on low for 7 hours and then my crockpot switched over to a warm setting for 2 hours. Plus you don’t have a big pot to clean out in the morning. Thanks for the short cut.
I am so excited to try this recipe. I just purchased individual portion packaged frozen steel cut oats from Trader Joes and my family loved them.
I just ordered a can of Honeyville steel cut oats from the Honeyville website. I want to make a large batch and then freeze individual servings. Then we can “nuke” them in the morning for a quick breakfast, take them to work, camping, etc.
I love mine with candied pecans and cranberries! Absolutely heavenly!
Oh btw, the Honeyville website is honeyvillegrain.com. Enjoy!
Hi,Thanks for the crock pot recipe, I will try it and let you know how it goes.I just returned from San Francisco and had the Steel Cut Oatmeal at a local mom and pop breakfast shop and it was great, hence me looking it up on the net. The only thing I see different was the way they made it, it seemed a bit creamier, not as thick, soup like and maybe had cream or condensed milk in it….any ideas ? It was sweet for sure, I think they said it had brown sugar in it also. The fresh fruit on top was fantastic, California Strawberries, Blue Berries, and a little Granola…YUMMMMY.Thanks for the help and if you know of a Christian girl looking to settle down, keep me posted, the pickings are slim here
Here’s a better and easier recipe:
1 part steel cut oatmeal1 teaspoon (or tablespoon, depending how much you like the taste) of butter4 parts water1 teaspoon molasses1 teaspoon cinnamon1/2 cup raisins
In a saucepan toast the steel cut oatmeal and butter till the oats are brown. The lovely fragrance will knock you out. Stand over the saucepan and stir frequently so that there’s no burning.
When the oats are browned and toasted, add four parts of water. Add a full teaspoon of molasses and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Bring to boil. Skim off the sudsy froth.
Cover. Let it sit for an hour or two.
It’s done. It’s perfect. Makes about 5 large servings.
PS: Add raisins after the oatmeal has cooled a little. I find that when you add them when the oatmeal is hot, they cook too thoroughly and lose their sweetness.
HowdyI like the idea of your overnight approach. I’m a complete steel cut oatmeal fanatic, and wanted to suggest another method. I eat oatmeal 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch. I LOVE oatmeal, and have got my girls into it, though my wife – understandably – thinks I’m a nut.What I do is cook TWO cans of McCann’s every two weeks in a big pot on Sunday night. It takes nearly an hour to finish. When it’s done, I cover it, and let it sit – with no heat – til the next morning. Then I put the oatmeal in ziploc bags and leave half at home and bring half of the bags to work. Whenever I want delicious steel cut oatmeal, I spoon a good amount into a bowl, add milk, raisins, and sometimes frozen berries, and put it in the microwave for 4 mins. YUMM!!!!
four months ago i started eating “steel cut oatmeal” and haven’t missed a breakfast since.the steel cut version is much more delicious compared to whole oats.i experiment with different ingredients which my favorite are english walnuts,organic raisins,blueberries,bananna,and two teaspoon of ground flax seeds.2-3 times weekly i add two teaspoon of olive oil to the mix.this really gets you off to a day packed with energy.if you are going to have a heavy day add a tablespoon of peatnut butter and let the oatmeal melt it,then add a fried egg.
We call this “porridge” at our house and drizzle with a bit of honey, then sprinkle on some cinnamon. The kids love it and have no idea it’s fabulous for them! I’ll definitely have to try the crockpot method!
I hope this adds many healthy variations to your breakfast repertoire. Be sure to visit the hub of all-things-helpful: Works For Me Wednesday at Rocks In My Dryer.
I love that! I’m going to post it on my blog! And then I’m going to Trader Joe’s so I can try it.
I am addicted to the Steel Cut Oats (I think they use McCann’s) at The Good Egg in Arizona. The price is unbeatable for a large (almost too) portion of oatmeal topped with fresh blueberries, strawberries, bananas, trail mix, honey glazed almonds, caramelized pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, milk…doesn’t get any better than this!
I just recently tried baked oatmeal and was surprised at how much we all liked it. It was like eating a huge oatmeal cookie for breakfast! Yum!
Ann – I hope to see you at the Jill Savage event on Monday!
Sounds yummy! And I’m not even a fan of oatmeal.
I left you a little something over at my blog, if you want to stop by.
OH! And don’t forget Michelle@Scribbit’s 12/30/08 (re)post about re-purposing that empty McCann’s steel-cut oatmeal tin! (I’m thinking purpose #15 may be fashioning the tin into a fancy little tiara for you, Madam Oatmeal Queen?)
I still eat the Quaker Instant Oatmeal because it is easy to take and eat at work. I will have to check out the steel cut variety. Both you and Kem Meyer talked about them this week.
Love this idea – wish we had a Trader Joe’s. Thanks!
Very funny… incidentally, my most popular post is titled “We need to poop more.” It gets all sorts of traffic from google. I don’t want to be known as the Poop More Girl, though…
Do love the crockpot oatmeal…and oatmeal does have a good amount of fiber. 😉
At A Hen's Pace says
I’ve been making regular oatmeal in my smaller crockpot for years without the edges turning brown.
Here is my secret: I plug it into a timer so that it doesn’t turn on till 3 a.m. or so. You can play around with the time, depending on how early you want to eat it in the morning.
Just thought the Oatmeal Queen and her readers might want to know!
I personally am the queen of getting armpit smell out of men’s t-shirts, according to Google…but my even more popular post is a photo of the leads and named characters from Seussical, the Musical. So I prefer “Seussical Queen,” or on bad days, “Drama Queen” is probably more like it. 🙂
Now I need to look for steel-cut oats!
McCann’s Irish Oatmeal is now on facebook! take a look and become a fan! http://facebook.dj/mccanns/
Patty Lee says
These all sound great, and I have yet another variation on a good thing – I put portions in small ramekins, sprinkle with turbinado sugar and put them under the broiler for two minutes. It’s ‘oatmeal brulee’…..VERY tasty, too!