Steel Cut Oatmeal in Crockpot?

marzhereJanuary 21, 2009

For the last year or so, I've been on a steel cut oatmeal for breakfast kick. I've used the normal 1 c oatmeal, 4 c water, simmer for 30 minutes method. I'd make it while cooking dinner, then before bed, I'd seperate the oatmeal into 4 containers and put in the fridge. While the am routine is quick/easy to just reheat in the microwave. I'm not enjoying cleaning the pan, which tends to have a cooked layer on the bottom that requires significant soaking and/or scrubbing.

The above method has produced good results, as I like my oatmeal thick/dense/chunky rather than thin/runny/slimy. I decided to try the crockpot method (for ease) and found the following recipe:

2 cups Steel Cut Oats

1 - 15 oz can pumpkin

3 1/2 cups fat free milk

3 1/2 cups water

1 Tablespoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup Splenda

Directions: Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low 6 hours.

The taste was good, but I wasn't keen on the texture. Last night, I tried 2 c oatmeal and 8 c water. Started the crockpot at 11 pm and cooked until 5 am. It then sat until 7 am. When I opened the lid, there was a thick layer of beige slime-type substance. I spooned most off and stirred the rest into the oatmeal. Again, the consistancy is not what I like. Now, the oatmeal that I had to peel away from the disposable liner was much more to my liking, LOL.

Any thoughts as to how to make steel cut oatmeal that is thick (almost chewy) in the crockpot? Am I using too much liquid, cooking too long?

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Not sure how to do it in the crockpot, but I got a tip from someone here about turning the emptied pot of oatmeal upside down in the sink while you finish eating or whatever else you're doing. Somehow, the oatmeal comes right off when you get back to the pot. I don't know how or why, but it works.

Lori :-D

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 5:41PM
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Well since you let it sit for a while after it's done cooking, why don't you have it sit with the lid off during those two hours, unless of course you already do. Go to, Alton Brown has a recipe for overnight oatmeal with steelcut oats that might yield a different result.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 5:45PM
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Lori - Okay, definitely going to try that. Hope something as simple as that tip solves my oatmeal issues...

Jackbenny - Haven't taken the lid off then let it sit, will add to the list of stuff to try. I did print Alton's recipe. His, though, calls for more liquid (maybe the dried fruit absorbs some of the excess???) and longer cooking than my current trial. Couldn't hurt to try.

Thanks to both for your thoughts. Who know oatmeal could be so challenging.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 6:30PM
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Have you thought about a rice cooker? It's on my list of appliances to buy and I'm told you can start your oatmeal the night before and after it's done you can let it sit until morning and it's perfect. Unfortunately I don't have any first hand experience.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 6:47PM
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I use Alton Brown's recipe in a small crock pot with less liquid. I just love it. Try his full recipe, then if you want a thicker oatmeal, adjust the liquid as I did.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 8:05PM
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Marzhare: I also only like the Steel-cut when it's chewy, too, so I did a search. On Recipe Zaar there was a similar recipe for crock pot cooking of the oatmeal but a couple people mentioned an even easier way that produced the chewiness that they like and it not being so mushy-like, as the crockpot seemed to cause:

"We have another way of cooking steel cut oats. Bring 3 cups water, 1/4-1/2 tsp. salt and 1 cup steel cut oats to a boil. Cover the pan and remove from heat. In the morning, put what you'll eat into a microwaveable bowl and warm it up. Serve with honey or brown sugar. I also like it cold with yogurt and fruit. You can store the leftovers in the fridge."

Others confirmed that this did produce chewy oatmeal. I'm going to try it.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 8:20PM
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I eat steel cut oatmeal nearly every morning year-round. I prepare mine in the morning in a nonstick pot - no sticking problems.

I want to try some of these other methods and recipes, though. Once I was introduced to steel cut oats there was no going back. DD & SIL lived with us while power was out at their home for a week following an ice storm. DD reports that now SIL won't eat anything else for breakfast.

I like it so much that if forced to live on only one food it would be steel cut oatmeal. Go figure -

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 8:54PM
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Another overnight technique: get a widemouth thermos food jar, preheat it with boiling water, then empty it and fill with the appropriate proportion of oats, water and whatever other stuff you want--sweetener, butter, whatever. In the morning the oats will be cooked, and depending on the quality of the thermos, they probably will be warm enough to eat--if not, just spoon them into a bowl and nuke them as needed.

By the way, I think that slimy/gel-like layer that sometimes forms on the top is probably the soluble fiber. I stir it back into the porridge. (it's good for you! ;)

An advantage to this method: no pot to clean! The thermos rinses clean fairly easily.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 9:16PM
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Along with the Thermos "cooking" method, this is one I've used for years. I got the recipe off a can off McCann's Steel Cut Oats.

Bring 4-cups water to a boil in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Turn off heat. Add 1-cup of steel-cut oats. Cover pot and leave sit overnight. The next morning cook the oatmeal on low for 9-12 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add salt during cooking, if desired.

I add one more step. I add 2-4 tablespoon of whey, yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk (fermented dairy) during the overnight soak. WHY? Oats contain more phytates than almost any other grain. It's important to soak oats before preparation and adding the fermented dairy will reduce the phytates. The phytates are contained in the bran and can have a cheleating or detoxifying effect.

(Source: Nourishing Traditions - by Sally Fallon) "This is why the oat bran fad gave beneficial results at first; but frequent ingestion of unsoaked oat bran can lead to mineral losses, allergies and irration of the intestinal tract."

For WHOLE oat groats, which is what I normally use:

(source: Nourishing Traditions)

serves 4-6

1 c. whole oat groats
2 c. warm filtered water
4 T. whey, yogurt, kefir or buttermilk
1 t. sea salt
2 c. filtered water

Place oats on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F until they turn light brown. Process roasted oats to a medium grind in a home grinder. (The resultant meal should be part flour, part small bits.) Soak from 7-24 hours in a warm place [Grainlady note: your oven with the light on is a nice warm place.] in 2 cups warm water plus whey. The fine flour particles will rise to the top and may be liften off carefully with a spoon.

Bring additional 2 cups water and sea salt to a boil, add soaked oatmeal and cook over very low heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.

I also have a flaker mill and will flake the oats after they are browned in the oven, rather than grinding them, and process per recipe.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 6:38AM
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Thanks for the suggestions...I have read about the rice cooker, but I'm not sure I can justify another appliance just for oatmeal (as we don't eat rice). Now, a nonstick pan, that's probably doable. If it doesn't work for oatmeal, I can repurpose the pan for use at our cabin. I'll definitely try the bring water to a boil then let oatmeal sit all night (both the cook slightly in the morning and not method).

I'll try Alton's recipe, as is, and then try to modify if needed. I don't mind eating the slime layer...if it just didn't make the oatmeal slimy, LOL. And I agree, there's no going back to non-steel cut oatmeal.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 10:45AM
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BTW, Grainlady, I recently ordered some Charlie's laundry soap and mentioned grainlady from garden web as my referral. Not sure if Taylor knows who grainlady is, but I put it down anyway.....

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 10:49AM
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marzhere - LOL - I've been mentioned several times at Charlie's as the source. I'm just glad I can help spread the word. Taylor can donate the free gift I would have gotten to a charity of his choice ;-). That would suit me just fine!


    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 2:40PM
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This is my friend Mandy's method and I really liked it. It only takes 5 hours so I did it during the day and then just heated up each day the amount I wanted.

1 c steel cut oats
3 c water
1 1/2 c milk

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook 5 hours on low.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 2:56PM
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Marzhere and others: (see my prev. msg. above, maybe #6 or so from top). I made it as indicated above in my prev. msg. and it was perfect! The only change I made, just for added ins., was after about 1/2 hour sitting on the stove after the boil, I stirred it up to ensure no lumps or congealed spots. It was great this morning. I didn't use a full 1/2 tsp. of salt and for me, I needed to add a little more this morning. Next time, I will add slightly more than 1/2 tsp. I'm so glad you opened this up for conversation as I most often avoid making it due to time constraints. Now, it's so easy!!! I used the generic steel-cut oats from our local "health food-type" grocery store here in California - Frazier Farms. It's 2/3 less in cost than the McCanns brand and tastes identical.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 2:48PM
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arline - Thanks for the follow up. I'll try your method next (still need to eat the most recent crock pot batch, first). I also think I'll get a non stick pan. I really do like the taste/texture of the stove top method better. Thus, I need to focus on resolving the pan cleaning issue. High hopes that your recipe and the non stick pan will be perfect for me...

I also buy my steel cut oats in bulk. Much more affordable than buying McCanns (though, the bulk doesn't come in a nice reusable metal can, only a thin plastic bag, LOL).

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 5:23PM
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Marzhere, the next time there is a sale on decorative metal cans with tight lids, buy a couple and store your steel cut oats in them. I have a bunch in different sizes. Just think, Christmas or Easter tins will brighten up your pantry and keep your oats attractive. LOL!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 12:11AM
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Marzhere, I cook my oatmeal on my stove top in a LeCreuset pot. I have a 2 qt round french oven that is perfect oatmeal size. Oatmeal doesn't stick or get scorched in a LeCreuset pot (neither does rice or grits) and cleanup consists of soaking the pot with some hot water for just a few minutes before washing.

I do not use non-stick pans of any sort. I figure if the fumes from an overheated non stick pan can kill birds I probably don't want to cook my food in it, either. JMO.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 6:42AM
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I have never had a problem cleaning up an oatmeal, grits or cream of wheat pot, either. I put water in it while it is still hot and after it has cooled, I can easily scrape the bottom with the plastic scrapers that I have from Pampered Chef. It all comes out without any effort at all on my part.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 7:52AM
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I make mine in my rice cooker. The bonus to this method is that I can put the ingredients in the cooker the night before, set the timer and when I get up in the morning the oatmeal is cooked and ready. I use my rice cooker for a lot of different things other than rice. Whatever I put in the cooker seems to turn out perfectly. I did find that the oatmeal stuck to my regular pots but was easily cleaned after soaking for a bit.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 8:58AM
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