Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats – The easiest way to cook steel cut oatmeal! This Instant Pot steel cut oats recipe is foolproof and perfect for make ahead breakfasts.
I’m often asked what my favorite thing is to cook in my Instant Pot. While I love using my Instant Pot to make easy dinners, the two foods that I cook most often in my pressure cooker are easy peel Instant Pot hard boiled eggs and these Instant Pot steel cut oats.
Using an Instant Pot is such a hands-off way to cook. You can count on it to reliably cook your favorite foods perfectly. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can cook steel cut oats on the stovetop. But, by using your Instant Pot, there is no stirring or babysitting a pot on the stove.
To make Instant Pot oatmeal you’ll add three ingredients to your Instant Pot, turn it on, and come back to perfectly cooked creamy steel cut oats. It’s so easy!
If you’re new to Instant Pot cooking, read my quick start Instant Pot manual to learn how to get started. Then try one of these 50 Best Instant Pot Recipes!
Steel Cut Oats
If you’ve never tried steel cut oats, they have a heartier, chewier texture than rolled oats. I personally love them and would take a bowl of steel cut oatmeal over old fashioned rolled oats any day. Because they are less processed, steel cut oats take longer to cook than rolled oats.
To cook steel cut oats on the stove, you’ll need about 30 minutes. Using your Instant Pot isn’t faster, but the true benefit is that it’s hands off. You won’t have to check on the oats or stir them during the cook time. If you forget about your oats in the Instant Pot and let them naturally release for an hour or two, they will still be just as delicious!
Why You’ll Love Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
- Quick & Easy: You can prep this breakfast in less than 5 minutes and the cooking process is completely hands-off. The ease of this recipe is my favorite part!
- Make Ahead Breakfast: Steel cut oatmeal can be made ahead and reheated for quick breakfasts throughout the week.
- Healthy: Steel cut oats are a healthy breakfast. They are high in fiber and protein. Steel cut oats are filling and won’t spike your blood sugar.
How to Make Steel Cut Oats in the Instant Pot
1. Choose your liquid. I always use water to make these oats. I find that they are creamy and perfect when I cook the oats in water and then add a splash of almond milk to my bowl.
If you choose to cook your oats in milk, I recommend replacing only up to half of the liquid amount with milk. (I’d recommend using almond milk, since dairy is more likely to give you a burn message.)
2. Water to oats ratio. Use 3 cups of liquid for 1 cup of steel cut oats. You can double this recipe (6 cups liquid and 2 cups oats) in a 6 quart Instant Pot.
3. Add some vanilla extract. This is my secret trick for oats with the best flavor! I also add vanilla to my favorite overnight oats recipe, and it is just the best!
4. Pressure cook 4 minutes. Close the Instant Pot lid and move the steam release valve to the sealing position. Pressure cook on high pressure/manual for 4 minutes.
5. Natural pressure release. If you were thinking a 4 minute cook time is too good to be true, here is where your oats will do most of their softening: the natural pressure release. After the cook time ends, leave the oats undisturbed in the Instant Pot, with the lid on, for about 20 minutes. You can get away with a 15 minute natural release, and if you forget and leave the oats for an hour or two that’s ok too.
During the natural release time, the oats will soften and absorb most of the cooking liquid. The pressure will dissipate in the Instant Pot. When you are ready to open the lid, move the steam release valve to the venting position just to make sure that all of the pressure and steam has escaped.
When you open the lid, you will probably still see some liquid in the pot. This is normal! Give the oatmeal a stir and the last of the liquid will be absorbed. Your steel cut oats will be slightly chewy, creamy and perfect!
If you want your oats to be sweetened, stir in your sweetener of choice. I like to use pure maple syrup. This is also a great time to add a little cinnamon.
Top your bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit, nuts, nut butter, flaxseed, chia seeds, or whatever toppings you enjoy. I’ve listed lots of oatmeal topping ideas here.
Can I Use Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats?
I have tested this recipe with quick cooking steel cut oats and it works great, with a few modifications. For quick cook steel cut oats, reduce the water to 2 1/2 cups per 1 cup of oats. Reduce the pressure cooking time to 1 minute, followed by a natural release of at least 15 minutes.
Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats with Fruit
Wondering if you can add frozen fruit to this recipe? Yes! Depending on the type of fruit, you’ll either stir it in before or after pressure cooking. Frozen fruit added before cooking will get really soft during the pressure cooking process.
I sometimes add frozen peaches to my steel cut oats before cooking to flavor the oatmeal. The peaches become very soft and some of them break up during the cooking process. Delicate berries would disintegrate during the pressure cooking cycle, so they should be added after cooking. You can leave the oatmeal on the keep warm setting for a few minutes to thaw the fruit.
You can also add chopped apples to this recipe before cooking. The apples will soften up as the oatmeal cooks.
Meal Prep and Storage Tips
- Refrigerator: You can store cooked steel cut oatmeal in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Let it cool and then refrigerate it in an airtight container. If you want to take your oatmeal for grab and go breakfasts, store it in individual serving size containers, such as mason jars.
- Freezer: Cooked oatmeal freezes well. I recommend freezing it in individual portions. One way to do this is to freeze the oatmeal in silicone muffin cups. Fill the muffin cups with oatmeal and put them on a tray in your freezer. Once the oatmeal has frozen, you can pop it out of the silicone cups and freeze it in a zip-top bag or other airtight container for up to 3 months.
Steel cut oatmeal thickens up as it cools. To reheat, put a serving of oatmeal in a microwave safe bowl. Add a little bit of your milk of choice. Heat for 30 seconds in the microwave, and then use a spoon to break up the oatmeal. Continue heating in short intervals until the oatmeal is hot. Stir and add more milk as needed to achieve your desired consistency.
Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 3 cups water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Toppings as desired: maple syrup, cinnamon, milk, flaxseed or chia seeds, fruit, nuts, peanut butter, almond butter, etc.
- Place the oats, water and vanilla in your Instant Pot. Stir.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and move the steam release valve to the sealing position.
- Set the cook time using the Pressure Cook/Manual function to 4 minutes at high pressure.
- The Instant Pot will take a few minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will begin counting down. When the cook time ends, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for at least 15-20 minutes (just leave the Instant Pot alone).
- After the natural release, carefully move the steam valve to the venting position to make sure that all of the steam and pressure has escaped. Open the Instant Pot lid.
- Stir the oats and serve with toppings as desired.
- To use quick cooking steel cut oats in this recipe, reduce the amount of water to 2 1/2 cups. Pressure cook for 1 minute at high pressure, followed by a natural release of at least 15 minutes.
- These steel cut oats are great for make ahead breakfasts. Refrigerate cooked oatmeal for up to 5 days or freeze individual portions of oatmeal for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- To reheat oatmeal, warm in the microwave with some milk.
Big would a serving size be?
1 cup of uncooked oats will make about 3 cups of cooked oatmeal. So if you eat 1/4 of this recipe that will be about 3/4 cup oatmeal. I’ll add that information to the nutrition info in the recipe. 🙂
Delicious! Thank you for the vanilla tip!
Facile et cuisson parfaite! J’en prépare d’avance et je réchauffe au micro-ondes, avec du lait d’amande.
Wanted to thank you for posting this recipe. I am making it now for what has got to be at least the 5th time. I always double it and often cook it with raisins and apples already in it for a result that tastes a great deal like apple pie when topped with a touch of maple syrup. After my family enjoys this for breakfast I freeze the leftovers in individual portions that we can reheat in the microwave in about a minute. This was one of several items I precooked to take in our freezer on an RV road trip it made feeding bellies a good hot breakfast easy as were rolling out of our campsite with kids still in pj’s. Thanks again!
I got the burn food notice. Any suggestions? It happened with a different steel cut oat recipe yesterday too.
Hmmm, I’ve never gotten the burn notice when making steel cut oats. I’ve written a post all about the Instant Pot burn message. Maybe it will help you to figure out what’s going wrong.
I got the same “Burn” notice but I’ve got a feeling it might be because I used 1/2 water and 1/2 milk.
I suspect you are correct! I’ve never had a problem with getting a burn notice when I make this with water.
When I get a burn notice, it’s usually because I forgot to turn the steam release valve to lock position. Could this be your problem?
Wonderful! I added 1/4 cup maple syrup and 2 heaping Tablespoons of smooth peanut butter.
I can’t stop eating it! Thank you for the recipe
Can this recipe be doubled for a large family?
Yes, I double this recipe all the time. Enjoy!
Do you double the time when you double the recipe?
No, the cook time stays the same for a double recipe. Just double the ingredients. 🙂
Can quick cook steel cut oats be used? And would the cook time be different?
I have tested this recipe with quick cooking steel cut oats and it works great, with a few modifications. Use 2 1/2 cups of water for 1 cup of quick cooking steel cut oats. Reduce the pressure cook time to just 1 minute, and then let the pot naturally release for at least 15 minutes. I’ve added a note to the recipe with these instructions. Enjoy!
Can I use a 3-qt Mini Instant Pot without halving the recipe?
I can’t say for sure as I don’t have experience with the mini Instant Pot. I would say yes, as long as the ingredients don’t exceed the 1/2 way fill line.
Wonderful recipe! I love making this on Sunday so I have breakfast ready for a few work days.
Thank you for this recipe. I have made it a few times and I love it. I even double the recipe for cold oats during the week. Yum.
I made this today for the first time. I loved it. Very easy and simple recipe and had a great flavor. I added the vanilla. I wouldn’t have thought of that so thank you.
This is my go-to recipe for play dates. It’s so easy to throw together and take to a friends house and enjoy while the kiddos play. Always a hit with my mom tribe! I double it and bring lots of toppings like fruit, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, chia seeds and toasted coconut!
Loved it, easy and came out perfect!
Love your Brown Rice recipe which you recommend toasting the rice on sauté ahead of time. I’ve also made your Re fried beans yummy! And your chickpea recipe. Love it!!! Thank you for your hard work in testing out your recipes for us! And I love the Steele cut oats too. This is the first time I’ve ever cooked Steele cut oats because it’s quick!
P.S.I also added 1/4 tsp salt before cooking the recipe. (As per Bob’s Red Mill recipe.)
I finally talked my wife into trying these steel cut oats. She ate it but not enthusiastically. I loved it. We both enjoy oatmeal but have always used rolled oats. So it was different. I am looking forward to having more – not sure of my wife.
Thank you for this recipe. I am trying to incorporate more steel oats into my diet and I don’t always have time to babysit the oats. I tried this today in my instant pot and it worked without flaw! I used water only and added some salt before cooking then I topped it with fresh blueberries and strawberries! I look forward to making a larger batch and freezing it for a quick morning breakfast!
We tried it today. Turned out perfect! I had a bag of steel cut oats for a while and wasn’t looking forwarding to making them in a pot since they always overboil…. this time, in a Pot, they turned out wonderful. No mess, nothing was sticking to the sides of the pot/pan… Thank you for the recipe, it is a keeper in out house.
I have to admit I was trying this recipe with the intent of improving my diet. I am thrilled to report how much I like them! They are good and they are flexible. I can add fruit, chocolate chips (I’m a confessed chocoholic here), or peanut butter and have a delicious, none-boring breakfast. And unlike the other things I’ve eaten for breakfast all my life, I’m not hungry an hour later. Bless you for sharing your talent with us!
This was a great recipe! I was surprised that it only required 4 minutes on high pressure. I actually used 3 cups of boiling water from my kettle so that made the cooking time even shorter. Thanks for the recipe!
I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe! The 4 minute cook time works perfect, no need to boil the water before adding it to the Instant Pot. 🙂
A comment on reheating steel cut oats , or anything else, is use the instant pot for that too. I reheat everything in my instant pot. Reheats are moist and refreshed.
To reheat in the instant pot, do you add more liquid? What do you set the instant pot at?
Have done this several times with great results. Use 2 cups water and 1 cup unsweetened almond milk with McCanns Irish steel cut oats. Today used sprouted steel cut oats and followed the same cooking instructions of 4 minutes. After a couple of minutes it spewed out of the vent top onto the lid and sides and surface. Didn’t spew long but enough to make a mess. Not sure if this was a coincidence or not but leery about trying again. Read the instructions for quick cooking steel cut. Would sprouted be considered in the same category? If so, will try this instead. Thanks!
Yes, sprouted oats cook faster and so may have been cooked while the pot was pressurizing.
I made this per your recipe and it came out OK, I was hoping for something a bit creamier in texture – I don’t like loose oatmeal. Next time when I make a bigger batch, I’ll make some changes:
Using evaporated milk to cook the oats in (that follows the half milk half water mention)
Letting them thicken longer with the Keep Warm setting on – my mistake was getting the oats straight out of the pot
I love this recipe. The only real change I make is using dried apples before cooking. I add a little extra liquid to allow them to rehydrate. I also add some apple pie spice to punch up the apple flavor. Yummy!
I made this recipe unchanged except with a bain-marie setup. I used 4 13oz glass mugs on a trivet and 1 cup water added to pot. Easy clean up and Instant Pot available right away.
I just won an electric Pressure cooker Not an Instant Pot but it seems to have all the same buttons.
All I have in the house are large flake Oats what change would i need to make. I am new to pressure cooking.
Thank You for any help you can give me.
Hi Collette, Unfortunately old fashioned oats will not work with this recipe. Since they cook so quickly, they are best cooked on the stove or even in the microwave. Steel cut oats take much longer to cook on the stove, so they’re ideal for cooking in the Instant Pot. 🙂
This was such a treat. I adore steel cut oats but haven’t made them in years because they’re such a pain to cook. This made it so easy and the vanilla was a delicious addition. They came out perfect…chewy and creamy. I’m in oatmeal heaven over here. lol Thanks so much for the recipe!
Kristine, I will never make steel cut oats on the stove top again! This came out perfect! Thank you so much! 😉
I’m glad that you loved these! We make them all the time too because as you said, they come out perfect and are so easy and hands-off!
Thanks for making this recipe so easy to follow. I used Amazon’s quick cook steel fut oats but added a tablespoon of butter and brownedcthem a bit first using saute.
Loved adding vanilla! After adding a cup and half of Blueberries and some brown sugar to the warm Oatmeal, I now have breakfast for the rest of the week!
Thanks, Kristine, it worked perfectly! That’s my first try at cooking steel cut oats, and your I.P. instructions were spot on.
Only thing I might do next time is add cinnamon from the start. My dopey brain forgot it when reheating and my tastebuds missed it 😉
Flawless and comes out perfect every time. I like to make a double batch, and then freeze into 3/4 cup sized “hockey pucks”. Then reheat, top it off, and eat! Perfect for when you don’t have time to cook in the morning.
What happened to the quantity adjustment? I used to be able to put in how many servings and it adjusted the recipe perfectly.
I’m sorry that you’re missing that feature. We decided to remove it because it was confusing for many people since it often gave uncommon ingredient quantities and didn’t work well for some recipes (i.e., banana bread, etc.).
Thank you for this recipe. I used to use it all the time and it always came out perfect!
Went to it this morning and I missed the servings converter. That was always helpful if more people were going to eat the oatmeal.
But as usual- perfect! 😁
I’m so glad you’re enjoying this recipe! We decided to take the servings converter off of the recipes because it was confusing for many people, and it didn’t work well for some recipes (i.e., banana bread). You can still increase the quantities, you just have to do a little math (I know, not the easiest early in the morning! 😉 )
Hi Kristine! A couple questions:
1) Can you advise on your favorite estimated proportion of how much maple syrup, cinnamon, or milk to put for the entire recipe/pot at the end? Or do you like to do it per individual bowl/serving?
2) If I made it tonight as a make-ahead for the week, do you recommend putting those toppings with the oatmeal in the fridge, or waiting to put toppings to each individual serving when ready to eat?
We always add milk, toppings, etc. to the individual bowls when serving. That way everyone can customize their bowl the way they like it. If making ahead, I recommend adding topping when ready to eat. 🙂
I tried this recipe but it was still liquidy when I opened the lid after naturally releasing.
There may be a little liquid after cooking; give it a stir and wait a minute or two and it should be absorbed. If there is a lot of liquid it sounds like either the measurements were off or the pot didn’t pressurize properly.