How to Cook Steel Cut Oats: A Guide for Beginners

Are you looking for a healthy and delicious breakfast option that is easy to prepare? Look no further than steel cut oats! While they may take a bit longer to cook than traditional rolled oats, the extra time is well worth it for their chewy texture and nutty flavor. In this article, we will walk you through the steps of cooking steel cut oats and offer some tips for making them even more delicious.

What are Steel Cut Oats?

Before we get into the cooking process, let’s first get a better understanding of what steel cut oats are. Steel cut oats, also known as Irish or Scottish oats, are whole grain oats that have been chopped into small pieces using steel blades. Unlike rolled oats, which are steamed and flattened, steel cut oats retain their shape and texture during the cooking process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Steel Cut Oats

Now that we know what steel cut oats are, let’s dive into the cooking process. Here is a step-by-step guide to cooking steel cut oats:


  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 4 cups water or milk
  • Pinch of salt (optional)


  1. Bring the water or milk to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan.
  2. Add the steel cut oats and stir to combine.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and let the oats simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The longer you cook the oats, the creamier they will become.
  4. Remove from heat and let the oats rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Top with your favorite toppings, such as fresh berries, nuts, or honey.

Tips for Cooking Steel Cut Oats

While the basic recipe above will give you delicious steel cut oats, here are some tips for taking them to the next level:

Toast the oats:

Toasting your oats before cooking can bring out their nutty flavor. To toast your oats, simply add them to a dry skillet over medium heat and stir frequently until they are lightly browned and fragrant.

Use a slow cooker:

If you want to save time in the morning, consider making your steel cut oats in a slow cooker. Simply combine the oats and liquid in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or overnight.

Make a big batch:

Steel cut oats are great for meal prep, as they can be made in a large batch and stored in the fridge for up to a week. When ready to eat, simply reheat in the microwave or on the stove with a bit of milk or water.

Add flavor:

While steel cut oats are delicious on their own, adding some flavor can take them to the next level. Consider adding spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg, or a teaspoon of vanilla extract for a sweet twist.


Cooking steel cut oats may take a bit longer than other breakfast options, but the result is well worth it. With their chewy texture and nutty flavor, they make a delicious and healthy breakfast that will keep you full throughout the morning. By following the steps and tips outlined in this article, you’ll be a steel cut oats pro in no time!

Until next time, happy cooking!