How to Cook Steel Cut Oats in the Microwave – Oatmeal Project Day 12

Steel Cut Oats with Raspberries, White and Dark Chocolate[The Oatmeal Project, Day 12: Raspberry White + Dark Chocolate]

We’ve been eating oats every day for the last two weeks and have tried a few methods for cooking steel cut oats. We started with the standard, slow method standing at the stove for 20 minutes, moved on in our busy schedules to the “quick”/overnight method, and even pulled our old rice cooker out of storage to try steel cut oats in there. We know that several of you have recommended cooking steel cut oats in the microwave oven, but we were reluctant to “resort” to something so easy.

But we tried it anyway.

The microwaved oats taste just about the same as the others, but something about rustic, chewy steel cut oats, warm and comforting at the same time so totally healthy, just didn’t seem right coming out of a microwave oven. It made us feel cheap, like we should just be eating instant oatmeal. However, if microwaving is the only method available to you, well, we aren’t going to argue with that. Of course, since a microwave oven means you do have a plug, you could plug in a small rice cooker instead. *wink*

The most remarkable thing about microwaving oats, however, is really just the size of the bowl you need to account for the oats and water bubbling up during the microwaving time. The more you need to cook, the larger the bowl, which may not even fit in the microwave.

How to Cook Steel Cut Oats in the Microwave Oven


1 part steel cut oats
4 parts water
pinch of salt for every ½-cup part of oats

Special Equipment/Tools

a large, microwave safe bowl that is at least 4 times larger in volume than the amount of water, e.g. if cooking 1 cup of oats with 4 cups of water, you will need almost a gallon-size bowl


Stir together oats, water and salt in large microwave-safe bowl. Loosely cover the bowl with a microwave-safe plate.

Microwave on high for 10 minutes, stopping and stirring the oats halfway through the cook time.

by Sarah J. Gim on February 13, 2011 · 29 comments

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