Tips for Preparing Hearty, Nutritious Steel-Cut Oats in a Crock-Pot

Homemade steel cut oats in a blue bowl, topped with fruit and cinnamon

Oatmeal has been a popular breakfast food for centuries, and for good reason: Oats are packed with fiber, protein and many nutrients; they're filling and satisfying, giving you an energy boost to start the day; and they are enhanced by flavorful, nutritious toppings such as fruits and nuts. If your family prefers the more dense, chewy texture of steel-cut oats over softer old-fashioned or quick-cooking varieties, you're probably familiar with the accompanying 30-minute-plus stovetop cooking time. Use your Crock-Pot instead—although the total cooking time increases, it only involves a few minutes of hands-on prep. You can even put everything in the Crock-Pot before bed and wake up to steamy, perfectly cooked steel-cut oats first thing in the morning.

Total Time: 3 to 8 hours | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Serves: 6 to 10


  • 2 cups steel-cut oats
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. In the Crock-Pot, stir together the oats, water and salt.
  2. Cook the oats on high for 3 to 4 hours, or low for 6 to 8 hours.
  3. Stir the oatmeal before serving, optionally with a splash of milk or cream and your favorite toppings.


  • In addition to toppings, such as chopped nuts, dried or fresh fruit, and sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and brown sugar, you can add different flavorings to the oatmeal as it cooks. Add a large spoonful of peanut butter, cocoa powder or chocolate chips, grated apples, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
  • For a creamier version of steel-cut oatmeal, substitute some or all of the water with milk, nut milk or coconut milk. 
  • Steel-cut oatmeal retains its texture even after being cooled and reheated, so make a big enough pot to eat for breakfast for several days.