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Learn how to cook perfect steel cut oatmeal in the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. You’ll love this hands-off method and my quick hack for making frozen steel cut oats for meal prep!
I really enjoy eating steel cut oats for breakfast (also known as Irish oatmeal), but I don’t enjoy standing at the stove for more than 20 minutes in the morning waiting for the oatmeal to cook.
I got my Instant Pot® (electric pressure cooker) almost a year ago, and it’s been a game changer for healthy meal prep!
I share my favorite foods to make in the Instant Pot here.
Honestly, with the time it takes for the pot to come up to pressure, it’s probably not much faster than making the oats on the stove.
But I love how I can put the oatmeal ingredients in the pot, set it, and walk away to get other things done during a busy morning. I can trust that the oats will come out perfectly every single time! It’s the best recipe.
It’s also a much quicker process than it would be to make steel cut oats in a slow cooker.
The steel cut oatmeal reheats well from the refrigerator for the first few days after cooking, but now I also make enough at one time that I can freeze single servings to keep on hand.
Why is steel cut oatmeal good for you?
You may wonder if steel cut oats are better than rolled oats.
Rolled oats (or old-fashioned oats) are made by steaming oat groats (kernels) and then rolling them flat into flakes.
Steel cut oats, however, are made when the groats are simply cut into two or three pieces with steel blades.
Since more of the grain is left in tact than when oats are rolled, steel cut oats are the least processed form of oatmeal. They are denser, contain more fiber, and are lower on the glycemic index than rolled oats.
The nutrition content in the two is similar, but steel cut oats will keep you full longer.
But these qualities also mean that steel cut oats take the longest to cook. This is where the Instant Pot comes in so handy.
Where to Purchase Steel Cut Oats
Steel cut oats are easy to find at the supermarket in the cereal isle alongside the other varieties of oatmeal.
You can also purchase them on Amazon here. Avoid purchasing quick-cooking steel cut oats for this recipe.
How to Make Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal – Step-by-Step
Step 1 – Place the Ingredients in the Inner Pot
Cooking steel cut oats in the instant pot is really simple.
Simply add the oats, water, and salt to the inner pot of a 6-quart or 8-quart Instant Pot and give everything a quick stir. (If using a 3-quart pressure cooker, I would recommend cutting the recipe in half.)
For creamier oats, replace one cup of the water for low-fat milk or dairy free milk. (Do not add more milk than this or use full fat milk or the oatmeal will likely scald!)
You’ll be able to add more milk after cooking, if you like.
Step 2 – Pressure Cook the Oats
Place the lid on the cooker, set the vent to the sealing position, and cook the oatmeal on high pressure for 5 minutes. (It will take the pot a little while to come up to pressure before the cooking time can begin.)
After the 5 minutes are up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes.
Then you can open the vent to quick-release any remaining pressure.
Step 3 – Serve the Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal
Stir the pot of oatmeal, then scoop into bowls to serve while it’s warm. Top your oatmeal any way you like! It’s that simple.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (or I’ll show you how to freeze it below).
Steel Cut Oats Toppings
Here are some topping ideas for you:
- Pure maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, or jam to sweeten
- Cream or milk of choice
- Fresh, frozen, or dried fruits
- Toasted, chopped nuts
- Peanut butter or other nut butter
- Chocolate chunks or cacao nibs
- Flaked coconut
- Chia, ground flax, or pumpkin seeds
- Ground cinnamon or other spices
Can I make steel cut oats to keep for the week?
Cooked oatmeal will last a few days in the fridge and reheats easily in the microwave or on the stove. It’s a convenient food to make for meal prep.
For longer storage, make frozen steel cut oats.
Frozen Steel Cut Oats (Single Servings) for Meal Prep
I thought this method for freezing was pretty clever when I discovered it!
The steel cut oatmeal comes out of the instant pot somewhat thick which will work out to your advantage here.
Simply use a muffin-sized cookie scoop to scoop balls of cooled oatmeal directly into a gallon-size zipper freezer bag.
Keep the balls in a single layer so you can easily remove them one-at-a-time while frozen. They should keep frozen for up to three months!
To prepare, remove one or two frozen oatmeal balls and place them in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl with about 1/8 cup water or milk.
Cook, stirring, over medium-low heat (or microwave on high for about 2 minutes) until the oats are warmed through. Add additional milk or toppings, if desired, and serve.
If you like stocking your freezer with homemade breakfast foods, you might like to make my Green Chile Breakfast Burritos to Freeze.
If you make this recipe and love it, I would be so grateful if you would come back to leave a star rating and a comment. Your feedback is very appreciated!
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