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How to Make Steel Cut Oats

Updated on May 30, 2022
Audrey Baker profile image

Audrey has received certifications from the Rouxbe Culinary School and the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.

What are Steel Cut Oats

Whether you are accustomed to steel cut oats, rolled oats, quick oats, or even instant oats, your oats start out as groats. A groat is a hulled grain - in this case, a hulled oat.

As their name suggests, steel is used to cut hulled groats into pieces to make steel cut oats. Of the various forms of oats suitable for making cereal, steel cut oats have been processed the least.

Oat groats are steamed and then rolled to make rolled oats, which cook quicker than steel cut oats. Instant oats undergo a similar process as rolled oats. The oats are made thinner during the rolling process to create quick oats, which cook even quicker than rolled oats. Instant oats have been heavily processed. Groats are chopped into fine pieces and flattened. They are then cooked and dehydrated for packaging. Instant oats are not nutritious, especially considering that sugar is added to the final product.

Steel cut oats are known for their nutty flavor and chewy texture, which makes them a favorite oat choice for many.



Vitamin C enhances oatmeal's ability to clean your arteries. Here are ideas on how to boost oatmeal's health benefits:

  • Top oatmeal with strawberries, which have a higher vitamin C content than oranges!
  • Eat an orange or kiwi with oatmeal
  • Drink a glass of orange juice with your morning oats
  • Top oatmeal with ground walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, or pecans
  • Sprinkle chia seeds and/or hemp seeds on top of your oats

Health Benefits of Oatmeal

It is no secret that oatmeal is a nutritious breakfast choice. Oatmeal is best known for lowering cholesterol. A serving of oatmeal packs in five grams of dietary fiber, which is 20% of the recommended daily value. The fiber found in oatmeal is a mixture of soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. While insoluble fiber has its health benefits, soluble fiber is what is responsible for helping the body inhibit the absorption of LDL (bad) blood cholesterol. Soluble fiber also helps slow down digestion, making you feel full longer.

The fiber found in oatmeal also has cardiovascular benefits, such as reducing the risk of developing high blood pressure. Yet another way that the fiber in oatmeal benefits our health is by stabilizing blood sugar, which is especially beneficial for diabetics.

Oatmeal contains avenanthramide, a polyphenol that serves multiple purposes. Avenanthramide is an antioxidant that helps protect HDL (good) cholesterol. Avenanthramide also helps inhibit the buildup of plaque on artery walls.

Oatmeal is also a good source of protein, iron, and zinc.

Uncooked steel cut oats
Uncooked steel cut oats | Source

Ingredients for Oatmeal

For all methods, use these ingredients:

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cups water
  • pinch of salt, optional

Yields: 4 servings

Method 1: Steel Cut Oats on the Stove Top

Cooking steel cut oats on the stove top is the quickest method. This method is ideal if you want steel cut oats now and have not planned ahead.

This is also an excellent option if you would like to prepare your oatmeal the night before. Cooking the night before will ensure you have the least work to do in the morning. The next morning, the only thing left to do is reheat the oatmeal. Steel cut oats reheat well, making this option excellent for those of us with little time to prepare breakfast.

To make steel cut oats on the stove top:

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium pot.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring several times.
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat later.

Method 2: Steel Cut Oats Overnight on the Stove Top

If you remember to plan ahead, you can soak your oats overnight. In the morning, they will require less cook time and breakfast will be ready sooner than if you simply use the stove top method.

To make steel cut oats on the stove top by soaking overnight:

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium pot.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for one minute.
  3. Turn the heat off and cover oats.
  4. Allow to sit overnight.
  5. In the morning, remove the lid and bring oats to a boil over medium-high heat.
  6. Reduce heat to low.
  7. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until chewy, stirring occasionally.
  8. Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat later.

Method 3: Crock Pot Steel Cut Oats

Cooking steel cut oats in a crockpot is a great option when you want a hot breakfast waiting on you when you wake up.

If you want to wake up to the smell of apple pie, add cubed apples and cinnamon to the crockpot along with the other ingredients. Raisins are another excellent addition to this recipe. After scooping the oats into your bowl, stir in a spoonful of date paste (dates blended with water, vanilla is optional). It tastes like brown sugar but is much healthier.

To make steel cut oats in a crockpot:

  1. Increase water by one cup (a total of four cups of water should be used).
  2. Add all ingredients to a crockpot.
  3. Stir the ingredients and cover the crockpot.
  4. Cook on low for seven hours or until the oatmeal is chewy. Times will vary for different crockpots.
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat later.

How to Flavor Oatmeal

Steel cut oats can be eaten plain or they can be flavored in numerous ways. Here are just a few ideas on how to spruce up steel cut oats... feel free to mix and match:

  • Top them with roasted strawberries or other fruits
  • Stir in cinnamon
  • Stir in maple syrup
  • Lightly sprinkle with brown sugar
  • Better yet, use date paste (water blended with dates) for the brown sugar taste without the refined sugar!
  • Top with finely chopped nuts
  • Stir in vanilla extract
  • Top with seeds (hemp, chia, ground flax)
  • Add a splash of plant-based milk

For creamier oatmeal, cook it using plant-based milk in place of water.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Audrey


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