How to Cook Steel Cut Oats Perfectly on the Stovetop and Oatmeal Project Day 3

Steel Cut Oats with Bananas and Walnuts[The Oatmeal Project, Day 3: Sliced Fresh Bananas and Toasted Walnuts]

There are more than a few ways to cook steel cut oats, but we’re just getting started, so we’re going with the old-fashioned way of cooking them in a pot on the stove top. We’ve decided to stick with just cooking the oats in water, so that our bowl of oatmeal will be a fresh canvas for flavor variations everyday. At least for now. We’re pretty sure at some point later this month we’re going to break out the chicken stock.

We did a little research on other food, recipe and discussion sites, read the “Cooking Instructions” on the backs of some packages of steel cut oats, then experimented in the TasteSpotting Kitchen. After a week of doing nothing but cooking steel cut oats, we have have found that for stovetop cooking, these “ingredients” in this ratio works best for us because we prefer the a “bumpy texture” to our oats over something creamy and more porridge-like.

It takes about 20 minutes, and it’s active time because you have to watch the pot (don’t worry, it’s not meant to boil ;) ) and stir pretty frequently. It sounds tedious, and 20 minutes in the morning can be the difference between the light early commute and two angry hours on the freeway, but trust us. In the grand scheme of things you’ll be better off having started the day with a slow, deep breath.

And a bowl of oats.
How to Cook Steel Cut Oats on the Stovetop

How to Cook Perfect Steel Cut Oats on the Stovetop


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


Put oats, water and salt in a pot that will leave at least 2 or 3 inches of room at the top (so the oats don’t boil over. Bring to a boil over medium high-heat. Turn heat down to low, then simmer the oats for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

Today, we topped our bowl with sliced fresh bananas and toasted walnuts.

by Sarah J. Gim on February 3, 2011 · 29 comments

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