how to cook steel cut oats in a rice cooker

How To Cook Steel Cut Oats In A Rice Cooker: A Guide

On a cold winter’s morning, nothing beats a bowl of steaming hot oats for breakfast. It fills you up and fuels your body so well that it can keep you going for hours and hours. But who has the time to stand over the stove, first thing in the morning, cooking oats for breakfast?

There is a simple solution to this problem. Carry on reading and I will teach you how to cook steel cut oats in a rice cooker. It is a total game-changer. It will free you up to attend to the kids, get them dressed, sort out their school bags, and still enable you to send them off to school with a power breakfast inside their hungry little tummies.

Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. Research by nutritionists and health experts has shown that eating a good breakfast has many benefits. 

  • It fuels your brain, giving you the ability to think clearly and perform better at work or at school.
  • It gives you the energy to perform those tasks that require physical activity.
  • It helps to maintain a healthy weight. If you have eaten a good breakfast, you will be far less likely to feel hungry and then reach for those unhealthy snacks.
  • Eating a healthy breakfast helps to keep glucose levels under control. Of course, this is vital for people who have diabetes. But even in those who are not diabetic, it is still an important consideration. By keeping blood sugar levels well-controlled, it is possible to avoid a diagnosis of diabetes later in life.

A good breakfast should consist of a combination of carbohydrates and protein, to give your body the best possible start to the day. Oats is one of the best sources of carbohydrates, as it releases the carbs into the bloodstream very gradually, making you feel full for much longer.

Steel-cut oats are considered to be one of the best types of oats, as they are less refined than rolled oats. They are not as processed and have higher levels of fiber than rolled oats.

Steel-cut oats are actually the inner kernel of grain, known as groats, that have been extracted from the hull. The hull is inedible and is usually discarded. 

The groats are then chopped into very small pieces, using a special steel blade. Hence the name ‘steel-cut oats’. They are also sometimes called ‘pinhead oats’ because they are sliced into pieces the size of a pinhead. You may also find something called ‘Irish oatmeal’, which is another name for steel-cut oats.

Because steel-cut oats are less refined than rolled oats, they are also healthier. But they do take longer to cook. This is why it is so helpful to know how to cook steel-cut oats in a rice cooker. Your oats can take as much time as they need to cook, while the rice cooker does all the work and you can get on with your other chores.

Do You Need To Soak And Rinse The Oats Before Cooking?

Steel-Cut Oats

When cooking steel-cut oats on the stovetop, it is usually recommended to soak them for an hour or two, and then rinse them well. This makes the oats soften and shortens the cooking time.

When you cook steel-cut oats in a rice cooker, it is not necessary to soak them first. I do advise giving them a quick rinse, to wash off any residual powder that might make your oatmeal a little grainy in texture.

What Is The Correct Ratio Of Oats To Water?

When cooking oatmeal with steel-cut oats, the ratio of oats to water depends upon your personal preference for the consistency of your oatmeal. 

If you like your oatmeal fairly firm and solid, use 2-2 ½ cups of liquid to 1 cup of steel-cut oats. If you prefer a softer oatmeal, use 2 ½-3 cups of liquid.

Allow me to share a wonderful little secret with you. If you like your oatmeal to have a very smooth, creamy consistency, replace some of the water with milk. By substituting 1 cup of milk for 1 cup of water, your oatmeal will be beyond delicious.

How Much Oats Do You Need To Cook For Your Family?

Steel-Cut Oats

This is a question that is often asked when cooking things like pasta, rice, and oatmeal. It is so difficult to know exactly how much to cook. Naturally, we always want to avoid waste, and I prefer to cook only as much as I need. 

A general guide is that 1 cup of dry steel cut oats will yield approximately two cups of cooked oatmeal. An average-sized serving bowl of oatmeal would contain about 125 ml or ½ a cup. So for a family of 4, I would use 1 cup of steel-cut oats.

The good news about oatmeal is that once cooked, it can keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. So it is not too terrible if you cook too much and then have leftovers. In fact, it can even be quite useful for a quick snack.

Simply put the leftover oatmeal in an airtight container, and put it in the fridge. Another useful tip, to help you to avoid throwing away food. I always use labels to date my leftovers. By writing the date on the label and sticking it on the container, you will be reminded to use it before it goes bad.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Cooking Steel Cut Oats In A Rice Cooker

The beauty of cooking your steel-cut oats in a rice cooker is that the entire process is so incredibly simple. You do not even have to worry about choosing the correct temperature or cooking time. The rice cooker has programs that do it all for you. 

If your rice cooker has a ‘Porridge’ setting, we recommend that you use this setting. It will cook your oatmeal at a slightly lower temperature than normal, but for a slightly longer period, giving you the creamiest perfectly cooked oatmeal.

Not all rice cookers have the ‘Porridge’ setting. Do not panic if your particular model does not have this setting. You can still cook your steel-cut oats in your rice cooker. In this case, select the ‘Brown rice’ setting. 

If you use the ‘Brown rice’ setting, the cooking time will be a little shorter, as it cooks at a slightly higher temperature than the ‘Porridge’ setting, but this will also give you a perfect result.

This recipe will yield about 2 cups of cooked oatmeal, which is enough for 4 average-sized breakfast portions. If you are looking for a healthy, hot breakfast, with minimal effort, nothing could be easier than oatmeal cooked like this.

  1. Place 1 cup of steel-cut oats in the rice cooker pot.
  2. Sprinkle in ¼ teaspoon of salt.
  3. Add 3 cups of water. (For a more creamy consistency, use 1 cup of milk and 2 cups of water.)
  4. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
  5. Select the ‘Porridge’ setting and switch it on.
  6. Leave your rice cooker alone to do its work, while you do other important stuff.
  7. Come back and spoon steaming hot, scrumptious oatmeal into 4 serving bowls and enjoy!

If your rice cooker does not have a ‘Porridge’ setting, and you are using the ‘Brown rice’ setting, you should use a little less liquid. It is worth experimenting a few times until you get the exact consistency that you prefer, but we recommend 2 ½ cups of liquid to 1 cup of steel-cut oats. This will give you a creamy texture that is nice and soft, but not sloppy and runny.

Some Delicious Hints And Tips

Steel-Cut Oats

While we do love our oatmeal exactly as it comes out in the recipe above, occasionally we also like to add extra ingredients, or interesting toppings, to give that morning bowl of oatmeal a bit of a different twist.

If you would like to add something to give your oatmeal a little more variety, we have a few suggestions that you can try. We have tried all of these, and they are all yummy.

  • Sprinkle in a few raisins or some chopped-up dried fruit. Dried apples or apricots both work particularly well.
  • A dash of cinnamon will give your oatmeal a lovely flavor.
  • A few drops of pure vanilla extract enhances the natural flavor of the steel-cut oats.
  • For those of you with a sweet tooth, nothing beats a drizzle of maple syrup over the top before tucking it into your oatmeal.
  • For a really interesting twist, try sprinkling a teaspoon of shredded coconut. 
  • A few chopped pecans, or slivered almonds, will give your oatmeal a wonderfully nutty texture.

You can now see that it is really easy to learn how to cook steel-cut oats in a rice cooker. Once you have tried this method, you will never cook it any other way.

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