Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats

Steel cut oats are the less-processed brother of rolled oats. Because they are less processed, they retain more nutrients than rolled oats, which of course means steel cut are the oats I want to consume. Until recently, I have only consumed them on a rare occasion, though, because they take so. long. to. cook. Who has 45 minutes in the morning to wait for breakfast to cook? I’m hungry when I wake up! I want food within 15 minutes, please.

In comes the slow cooker. Last fall when my sister-in-law, Jolynne, told me that she cooks her steel cut oats in the slow cooker, I immediately put “slow cooker” on my Christmas list. Now steel cut oats make a more regular appearance in my breakfast routine. I love being able to throw everything in the slow cooker and have it do all the work for me while I’m sleeping. I wake up to a creamy bowl of goodness without all the fuss. It doesn’t get any better than that.  (Although yogurt parfaits are pretty good.  I think it’s a tie.)

A few of you expressed interest in the recipe I use, so I am sharing it with you today. You know me, I’m going to keep experimenting with different flavors, but this is the basic recipe we’ve been enjoying.  I don’t like runny oatmeal, so this ratio of milk/water to oats is perfect for me.  If you like your oatmeal more on the liquid-y side, you may want to add a bit more milk or water.  Remember that you can always add milk to your bowl in the morning, too.


  1. says

    Yum, love steel-cut oats! I do mine in the slow cooker, too, but in a water bath–it keeps the edges from getting crusty/burned. You put the oatmeal ingredients into a heat-safe bowl inside the slow cooker, and pour water around it. Works like a charm!

  2. katie schon says

    i’ll definitely have to try using a slow-cooker. we use rolled oats, right now, and cook them on the stove-top in apple juice instead of milk or water. it adds a lot of flavor, and you can buy it unsweetened to control the sugar. you have to play with the amounts, since it won’t evaporate the same as milk or water. but it tastes great with your typical apple spices. also, i very thinly slice and mash bananas and then add them to the hot cooked oatmeal. the bananas practically melt into the oats and add a creaminess and richness that is our substitute for butter. using the juice and bananas eliminates any need for dairy, if you are looking for that. but when we do add milk, it usually makes a cold add-on appearance, english porridge style.

    • Maryea says

      I use rolled oats a lot, too. We love it with thin-sliced banana, too. I put it in during the cooking time and then whip it so it melts into the oats. So delicious! I use almond milk rather than regular milk, but I love the apple juice idea–sounds great.

  3. Norma says

    HI I just came upon your site. It looks interesting. I see you have a passion for healthy eating. Do you soak your grains, beans, etc in an acidic medium to release phytates? Nourishing Traditions, a cookbook by Sally Fallon is a wonderful resource to read. She has so much information on good wholesome foods to eat and how to prepare them.

    • Maryea says

      Hello, I haven’t gotten too much into soaking my grains in an acid medium. I tried soaking my oats overnight in yogurt once and really couldn’t stand the taste. Maybe it’s something you have to acquire a taste for. I am familiar with Sally Fallon and Nourishing Traditions. While I don’t agree with all of her ideas, I agree that it’s a good resource overall.

  4. Sam says

    I really want to try this recipe but not a fan of maple syrup. Any suggestions on substitutes or would it be okay to just leave out?

    • Maryea says

      You could use honey or agave nectar. You can also leave it out if you don’t mind a less sweet bowl of oats. Good luck!


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