Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats are easy enough for even busy weekday mornings! Put everything in the Instant Pot, set it to cook, go get ready for the day, and then sit down to a warm and hearty breakfast!
When I have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, I really feel like I’m starting the day off right. Steel-cut oats are my favorite because they have such a great chewy texture and nutty flavor – but they take a lot longer to cook than regular oats.
On most mornings, standing at the stove babysitting a pot of oatmeal for 30 minutes isn’t usually an option, so I used to only make steel-cut oats on the weekend. BUT, thanks to my handy-dandy, trusty Instant Pot, now I can have steel-cut oats just about any day of the week!
First, full disclosure: In terms of total time, it takes just as long to cook steel-cut oats in the Instant Pot as it does on the stove (maybe even a tad longer). HOWEVER – don’t run away – when you use the Instant Pot, it’s a completely hands-off process! Just put everything in the Instant Pot, set it to cook, and go about your morning routine. Your steel-cut oats will be waiting for you when you’re ready!
This recipe is also great for meal prep. Make a batch of this oatmeal to use throughout the week. Refrigerate it once it’s cooled. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top, adding a little milk or water to thin it out. Easy!
STEEL-CUT VS. ROLLED OATS
How are steel-cut oats different from rolled oats? It’s simply how much the oat groats have been processed (groats are the oat kernels that have had their tough outer shells removed).
Steel-cut oats are less processed and are the closest thing to the unprocessed oat groat. They are simply oat groats that have been cut/chopped up with steel blades. They have a firm, chewy texture and nutty flavor.
Rolled oats are more processed (they steam and flatten the oat groats). They have a much softer texture and, because they have been partially cooked during processing, they cook much quicker than steel-cut oats.
I use the pot-in-pot method to cook oatmeal in the Instant Pot, which means you cook the oatmeal in a pot or oven-safe bowl that is placed on the trivet over water inside the Instant Pot rather than cooking it directly in the Instant Pot pot. The oatmeal turns out perfect every single time. Plus, there’s no worries about sticking or burning, and clean-up is so much easier!
There’s also no fear of getting a burn warning on the Instant Pot, which can sometimes happen when cooking the oatmeal in just the Instant Pot pot, especially if you are making a smaller batch. With the pot-in-pot method, you can even cook one serving without worry!
A few rules when using the pot-in-pot method:
- Always use a bowl that is oven-safe.
- Make sure the bowl is large enough to hold the food without touching the sides of the Instant Pot or preventing the lid from closing properly.
- Always place the bowl on the raised trivet over water (never put the bowl directly in the pot without the trivet).
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:
- Steel cut oats
- Whole milk (or almond milk or water)
- Salt (optional)
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED:
- Instant Pot
- Trivet (comes with Instant Pot)
HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT STEEL CUT OATS (POT-IN-POT METHOD):
Don’t skip the step of letting the pressure naturally release, as the oatmeal is still cooking during this time. If you skip this step, your oatmeal will likely be undercooked.
If your Instant Pot trivet doesn’t have handles that allow you to lift the bowl out of the pot, and you don’t have one of those fancy inserts with the handles, make a sling with aluminum foil. It works like a charm! Like this:
TIPS & TIDBITS:
- When you first take the oats out of the Instant Pot, you might think they are not cooked because they will be a bit thin. Just give them a good stir and let them chill out for a minute or two. They will thicken up nicely as they cool a bit.
- I have always used milk to make my oatmeal because it makes the oatmeal creamier, and I think it just tastes so much better. I’ve recently started using almond milk to cut down on the calories, and it works well. To me, oatmeal made with water is very bland, but you can use water if you’d like.
- Adjusting the amount of servings is simple! All you have to remember is that it’s a 3:1 ratio of liquid to oats. So, if you are using 1 cup oats, you need 3 cups liquid. If you are using ½ cup oats, you need 1½ cups liquid, etc. That’s it! The cooking time will stay the same.
Your beautifully-cooked steel-cut oats are a blank canvas for flavoring them however you like! My favorite way to eat them is to mix in a little pat of butter, some maple syrup, a splash of vanilla, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Then I top it with sliced bananas and sliced almonds. YUM! What a great way to start the day!
I hope you try this recipe for Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!
Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 3 cups whole milk (you could also use almond milk or water)
- pinch salt, optional
- Pour 2 cups of water into the Instant Pot. Place the trivet in the Instant Pot. Place an oven-safe bowl or pot on the trivet (I use a 7-cup Pyrex glass bowl). Note: Make sure the bowl does not touch the sides of the Instant Pot or prevent the lid from closing properly.
- Place the oats and milk (or almond milk or water) into the bowl. Add a pinch of salt, if desired. Stir.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the steam release handle to SEALING.
- Press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK (depending on the model you have) and set the time to 15 minutes at high pressure. Note: It will take approximately 7 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure before the cooking time will begin to count down.
- When the cooking time is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes (it's okay if you let it go longer). Quick-release any remaining pressure and remove the lid.
- Carefully remove the bowl from the Instant Pot and stir well. Note: The oatmeal may look thin when you first take it out, but it will thicken as it cools.
- Add your favorite mix-ins and toppings, and ENJOY!
- To adjust the number of servings, just remember that you need a 3:1 ratio of liquid to oats (for example, for 2 servings, use ½ cup oats and 1½ cups liquid). Cooking time and natural release time remains the same.
- If your Instant Pot trivet doesn’t have handles that will allow you to easily remove the bowl and you don’t have an insert with handles, make a sling using a long folded-up piece of aluminum foil.
- Estimated calories have been computed using whole milk. If you use unsweetened almond milk, estimated calories would be 173. If you use water, 150.
- I used an 8-quart Instant Pot for this recipe.
- For a 3-quart Instant Pot: I could not find a bowl that was small enough to properly fit inside that would also hold the amount of oats and liquid in this recipe. Therefore, I would recommend halving the recipe.