Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Did you ever eat steel-cut oats?

I never tried any until the last year or so, but have since really enjoyed having it for breakfast now and again. Actually, lately we have been having it pretty often.

Before I ate any, I had never understood why or how they were different than regular (rolled) oats. Apparently rolled oats are steamed and then rolled, whereas steel-cut oats are just sliced a different way and not steamed. So they come from the same plant, but just processed a slightly different way. The picture below illustrates the difference pretty well.

I like steel-cut oats because not only are they very healthy, they have a different texture and a nuttier flavor.

What I don’t like is how long they take to cook. That is, until I discovered this recipe in Cook’s Illustrated magazine.

Instead of putting them on to cook in the morning and waiting a good 20-30 minutes, for these you do one simple step the night before and cook a mere 5 minutes the next morning. Sweet!

Here’s the recipe I’ve been following as of late and have found to be spot-on. With toppings added in, one batch usually makes enough to feed our family.

4 cups water

1 cup steel-cut oats

1/4 tsp salt

The night before: Bring 3 cups of the water to a boil. Remove from heat and add in oats and salt. Place cover on the pan and let sit overnight.

In the morning: Add in remaining cup of water and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Photo courtesy of

We like to add our toppings in at the end. Some things that are good on steel-cut oatmeal: any kind of dried fruit, various nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, chopped apples, milk, honey, molasses, or whatever else floats your boat! To mix it up a bit, you can also substitute fruit juice in for the 1 cup of water in the last step.

4 thoughts on “Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal”

  1. There is a pkg of these oats on my pantry shelf that I have never had the ambition to fix them, so thanks so much for telling us how to do it. I guess I’m afraid they won’t taste as good too, but now I think I will try to do it!!

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