How to Cook Steel Cut Oats in a Rice Cooker

Steel Cut Oats with Greek Yogurt, Strawberries and Thyme[The Oatmeal Project, Day 8: Greek Yogurt, Strawberries and Thyme]

I’m the kind of girl who needs to be needed.

I have to be in a relationship in which the other person can’t live without me, can’t function without my being right there by its side, adjusting the temperature, stirring constantly, for the entire 20 minutes, 15 for chewy.

Oh yeah, we’re talking about oats.

(Relationships are for that other blog.)

But I just realized that while it sure makes me feel good to go out of my way, to take more time than necessary, to be inconvenienced out of love, to be needed, there are times, very rare, but there are times, when “being needed” is ever so teeny tiny bit donttakethiswrongway…annoying.

That’s when a rice cooker comes in very handy.

The rice cooker for oats is just as easy the Overnight “Quick” Method, but it requires neither forethought nor an entire night’s time. We threw oats into the rice cooker with water and a couple of pinches of salt and had chewy oats about 25 minutes later.

We might have a new favorite way of cooking oats.

Steel Cut Oats in Rice Cooker


1 part steel cut oats
3 parts water
pinch of salt for each cup of oats


Put oats, water and salt in rice cooker. Cook up to half the maximum capacity of the rice cooker, since oats seem to bubble up a lot more than rice.

Press “on.”

Excuse us for the silliest recipe step ever.

by Sarah J. Gim on February 8, 2011 · 41 comments

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Pamela Hung February 8, 2011 at 7:13 pm

As a college student who shys away from using a microwave, this is how I get my fill of warm oatmeal in the morning! I just mix oats, soy milk and flaxseeds in a bowl and put the whole bowl into the cooker after taking out the rice pot and pouring some water into the bottom of the cooker (it’s’ an old-school mini rice cooker). Glad to see that someone else does this too :)


Gwynne February 8, 2011 at 9:08 pm

For well over a year, I lived in a house with no stove/oven. Which meant all my cooking was done either in the microwave or my rice cooker. Since microwaves can really do a number on food, I got really, really good at cooking in a rice cooker! I can even bake brownies in a rice cooker. People just do not realize how versatile a little appliance those things are.


TasteSpotting February 9, 2011 at 1:54 am

you *really* need to share how you make brownies in a rice cooker….!

Jennifer February 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm


Can you please give some more info on what else you cooked in your rice cooker? I’m thinking of getting a crock pot, but don’t want to if I can do a lot with my rice cooker.


ZenKimchi February 9, 2011 at 2:49 am

Yes, please. We’ve done Upside-down Cake and Carrot Cake in a rice cooker.

But not brownies.


Jean February 9, 2011 at 9:43 am

For rice cooker fans, Roger Ebert (the film critic) recently put out an entire cookbook of rice cooker recipes. I haven’t seen it myself, however.


Jean February 9, 2011 at 9:51 am

Oops, so sorry for not doing my homework in advance. I just checked out the reviews for Ebert’s cookbook and they were quite lukewarm, at best.

I’ll just continue to rely on Tastespotting for more gorgeous inspiration.


Akki February 9, 2011 at 3:21 pm

OK, I am now going to share a really big secret – THE way to have steel cut oats:

grab an ovenproof bowl/dish. Use a 1:4 ratio of oats:water. Mix in a grated apple (and linseed if you want; I recommend). Put it in the oven for about 1 hour at 200 degrees celcius (don’t know what the Fareheit conversion is for you Americans!) (no stirring or anything required).

Once it’s out of the oven stir through whatever you desire – frozen berries and apple butter are particular favorites of mine. You could add honey/sugar/maple syrup if you like it sweet. Then savour the taste!!

Another nice thing is if you get some dried fruit, chop it up and mix it in before baking (in which case you need to add in a little more water as the fruit absorbs it). Highly recomended!!


Cindy February 28, 2011 at 11:40 am

I LOVE Akki’s method of cooking steel cut oats in the oven! I found the rice cooker and stovetop methods require constant babysitting whereas the oven requires none…you put it in and an hour later come back to PERFECT oats everytime! Thanks to you, Akki, I eat steel cut oats every morning now. ;>)

Sunny January 12, 2012 at 10:37 am

about 400° F

Shelly April 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm

After reading these yummy recipes last night, I fixed some steel cut oats in my rice cooker for the first time. I sprinkled cinnamon on top of the water & added a little salt. When it was done, I put them in the fridge for breakfast. This morning, I put some in a Ball jar with a tiny bit of sugar, really, like 1/8 of a tsp., a drizzle of half & half (1 tbs) & a handful of pecans. I threw the jar in my purse & ate it when I got to work. Sooooo delicious!! And I am not an oatmeal person at all. I love the texture of sc oats—not mushy like oatmeal. I am addicted! And by using the rice cooker, I have enough for at least 3 mornings.

Susan Hollaway June 11, 2013 at 9:08 am

200 degrees C is 392 degree F. Soooo. Do you think it has to be that exact, or would 375 do? 400 degree F might be too much. Has anyone else tried this with F and did you do exactly 392?

Thanks! I SO want to try this way.

Diana February 9, 2011 at 6:12 pm

So *this* is why I need a rice cooker!

Genius. ;)


Janet Magnuson August 31, 2011 at 5:52 am

Oh no, “press on” is not the silliest recipe direction ever! At least once a month, when cooking rice in my cube for lunch, I plug in the cooker, add the rice and water, see the little yellow light glowing, and forget to start it…half an hour later, hungry and ready for lunch, I take off the lid to a pan of water and raw rice…grrr


Laura September 26, 2011 at 9:29 am

Just tried this out and YUMMY!!!! Just pitch fresh or frozen fruit and some agave!!! Make extra for snacking!!!!!


tom December 3, 2011 at 9:48 am

so… how did these comments end up blank? I wanted to try the oven recipe Akki shared that I found a few days ago and now it’s gone… :(


AZME December 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm

had a craving…so glad I found this post…your right about the bubbling up issue…lost a little water but it didn’t effect the outcome. Delicious and easy!!!


anneofalamo March 23, 2012 at 7:08 am

Woooooooo hooo it works!! Fabulously too! Thank you so much!!!


Kendra May 3, 2012 at 7:09 am

I tried this in my Zojirushi with 1/2 cup steel-cut oats. It exploded open mid-cycle. :-0 Back to the drawing board!!


Christina H April 26, 2020 at 3:33 pm

Good to know, that’s the kind I have and I would be distraught if that happened! Sorry to randomly reply to your 2012 comment lol

paul June 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm

OK I’m trying to do the steel oats in my 10 cup Tiger rice cooker using this recipe 1 to 3 ….. I have tried 2 to 5 ratio and it seems to comeout a little dry and the water boils over waste atleast 1 cup of liquid….so its using 2 steel oats to 6 water and a little salt…. I didn’t use salt before either…. so now its cooking….ooops its starting to boil over eh just as much so that didn’t help but the Oats seem to be a lot more moist…… over all the 2 to 6 ratio I feel is better and the spill over is the same so there…..


Genevieve September 10, 2012 at 9:10 pm

My rice cooker has different modes (white rice, brownu rice, Etc.), so I can’t simply press “on”. What are your thoughts in this situation? Trial and error?


Russell September 29, 2012 at 8:30 am

If your cooker has a “porridge” setting, use that. If not, the brown rice setting should be appropriate. My cooker’s brown rice mode worked fairly well (Aroma ARC-1010SB).

Kris October 7, 2012 at 10:31 am

Tried the rice cooker method this morning. Sad to see the boil over BUT they were delicious. No watch cooking and fast. The baking method I used in the past required longer time. This is much faster. Next time I will put something under it to catch the boil over. Turned out moist and yummy!


Aimee April 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Hi for those complaining of overboiling, what I do is leave the lid on until the water boils, then I take off the lid and keep it off. The cooking time might be slower but it doesn’t boil over. I taste test the food and when I think it is done, I serve it and eat it.


Lorraine Joyce October 16, 2016 at 4:10 pm

I keep my rice cooker’s lid off too, Aimee. That way I don’t have to stand there and watch for overboiling. When the oats are done, but before they cool, I add crunchy peanut butter for a nice texture and added protein. Other add-ins include cinnamon, ground flax or sesame seeds, honey, vanilla or almond flavoring, chopped dried cranberries, and shredded coconut. Really, you could add everything you love to this and it would only get better and better. Keeps for several days, too. I make this twice and week, and add frozen raspberries each day.

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Gwen July 17, 2013 at 6:17 am

Do you want to have the cover on while cooking? I’ve tried this twice, the second time with only a small portion, and both times it boiled over like crazy!


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Reiko July 20, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Another website I looked at ( suggested pre-soaking the oats to prevent boiling over when using a rice cooker. I’ve been making mine in a slow cooker (using this recipe: But I’d like to experiment with the rice cooker next!


Elizabeth August 13, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Just browsed through recipes on the Aroma website. Their recipe for steel cut oats calls to leave the pot uncovered. I didn’t know you could even do that with my rice pot. Maybe that keeps things from boiling over? I’ll be giving this a shot in the morning! Thanks!


Martin Carter January 22, 2015 at 11:53 am

I didn’t know that rice cooker can also cook oats so perfectly! I should try it by myself within a very short time. Thanks for this great idea.


Rita Samis October 27, 2015 at 11:17 am

What do you mean by parts of oatmeal and water.
How much of each do you use.


terrill February 12, 2016 at 9:52 am

My rice cooker is set up for the microwave, and I’ve lost my original directions for making rice, so I have no idea, exactly how long to leave it in the microwave for and what power setting (you suggested between 50% and up, I think).

When you wrote this recipe (which I SO appreciate, actually) did you mean you use a rice cooker designed for the microwave? I’m desperate to learn how to get this exactly right. Thanks.


Valerie June 13, 2016 at 4:38 am

If you put a small amount of fat — butter or oil — in with the oats, it helps prevent boiling over.


Suzanne June 17, 2016 at 9:43 am

I love steel cut oats, too! And in the rice cooker? Even better!

Oh and that silly last step of the recipe: not so silly! I don’t know how many times I’ve done everything EXCEPT press on when cooking a batch of rice. ;-)


Madeline Johnston June 17, 2016 at 3:25 pm

I find the oven method easiest. And if your oven has a timer, you can put it in (any cereal, not just oats) the night before and set it for 2-3 hours at 250 F. or less time at slightly higher temps, then have a nice hot breakfast ready when you wake up, never mushy, each grain just right.


Cathy June 21, 2016 at 1:45 pm

Do you use brown or white rice setting?


matt April 16, 2017 at 2:42 pm

what setting do you use on the rice cooker – I have various ones for white, brown, porridge, sweet.


Mojo July 22, 2017 at 7:16 am

Ugh, I filled my rice cooker only half full and it still boiled over. What a mess.


Jill June 16, 2013 at 7:28 am


I have the same model. Does yours boil over? How much are you cooking and what ratio?



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