How to “Quick” Cook Steel Cut Oats – Set It and Forget It

Oatmeal with Blackberries Blueberries Raspberries[The Oatmeal Project, Day 4: BerryBurst! (blackberry, blueberry, raspberry)]

It’s a total sham.

This whole “how to ‘quick’ cook steel cut oats” thing that we bumped into a few times during our travels along the steel cut oats is a sham.

We got all excited about the “secret” that could mean getting to our morning bowl of steel cut oats sooner than the very tedious 20-30 minutes it takes for us to cook it on the stovetop, while standing there stirring it. We tried it. It certainly tastes just as good as the “long cooking” method. But it’s still a sham.

You see, we get that this method only takes five minutes, but what this bait-and-switch method fails to tell you upfront is that the “quick” five minutes is in the morning. What is so quick about the 12 hours before the five-minute-morning that you’re actually letting the oats sit in the pot after you’ve boiled them the night before? Shouldn’t this be called the “All-Night Method?” And what about the time and effort it takes to remember to do all this before? We’re not that prepared! And reheating these “all-night” oats isn’t really cooking, now is it?! You might as well microwave them!

Which is actually another method, but we’ll get to that after the weekend.

How to “Quick” Cook Steel Cut Oats


1 part steel cut oats
3 parts water
pinch of salt for each (1 cup) 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 and boil for about 1 minute. Turn off the heat, cover, and let oats sit at room temperature overnight.

In the morning, uncover the pot, place over medium high heat, bring to a boil, and let oats heat through.

** TasteSpotting Kitchen note: We are assuming you get a good solid eight hours of sleep. However, if you’re like us, “overnight” really is only three hours long, which probably explains why this method doesn’t work for us.

by Sarah J. Gim on February 4, 2011 · 17 comments

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