Here is a fail-proof recipe to make Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats and 4 ways to top your oats! Add any milk you want to make it high fat, low fat, vegan, vegetarian, whichever way you like.
I couldn’t be happier with the result of multiple recipe tests. I LOVE LOVE LOVE steel cut oats, just as much as I love Instant Pot brown rice. Both taste so much better than their more processed cousins. They are obviously also healthier than their cousins.
However, they used to have one disadvantage that was so dominant, that I didn’t make them much: they take forever to cook in a regular pot! Ever since I own a Pressure Cooker I can’t get enough of brown rice and steel cut oats. YUM!!!
This amazing Instant Pot does ALL the work without assistance or supervision and it does the work much faster than a regular pot. ALSO, it just cooks stuff so much better. Quinoa, rice, oats…they simply come out perrrrfect!
My absolute favorite part about having a pressure cooker now though is probably that I can cook complete meals in it such as Peruvian-Style Chicken and Rice.
Now to the basics of How to cook Steel Cut Oats in a Pressure Cooker though:
How to cook the best Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
I’ve tried all kinds of combinations of high pressure, low pressure, long cooking with manual pressure release, short cooking with natural pressure release, cow’s milk, almond milk, loads of water, very little water and the magical formula, in my opinion, is this:
1 part oats to 2 parts water (e.g. 1.5 cups oats to 3 cups water) + a pinch of salt
3 minutes on high pressure
natural pressure release until the pin drops (between 16-18 minutes in my case)
add milk of choice (and sweetener of choice) and stir well
Best liquid to add to Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
Hands down water!! For many reasons. Cooking milk under high pressure kind of end ups super weird.
The best advantage of cooking steel cut oats in water, however, is that they will taste “neutral”. They are low fat, vegan and basically tasteless. They just have an amazing texture with which you can now work to transform into your favorite breakfast bowl.
Besides, if you add cold milk it helps speed up the cooling process. There is no harder thing to do in life than sit in front of a boiling hot bowl of oats unable to eat them despite blowing and blowing on them until you feel like you’re going to faint. Add ice cold milk, give it a quick stir and it’s ready to eat!
Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats Time
Let’s talk about timing! And let’s get into the details of quick pressure release and natural pressure release here.
After extensive testing, I figured out 3 minutes on high pressure breaks down the grain but it needs natural pressure release to get silky smooth without falling apart.
Imagine boiling your steel cut oats in constantly boiling water and eventually when it’s cooked take it out of the water, just like you would cook pasta. Ever tried? Why not? Nobody suggests doing that, right? Because it simply doesn’t turn out well. The oats overcook and absorb way too much water that way. They become a big mush tasting like absolutely nothing because it’s full of water.
You have to “steam” oats but they also need to absorb enough water so they break down.
So the magic formula is 3 minutes of pressure cooking to break down the oats and 16-18 minutes natural pressure release to “steam” them so they can absorb the exact amount of water necessary.
In case you’re wondering about timing for rolled oats as well, I recommend you read through this Instant Pot Oatmeal Jars post which goes into all the details about rolled oats and also, how amazing do they look?!?!
Best ways to top the best Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
How does strawberry, hazelnut, and dark chocolate sound? I thought so. This one was gobbled up in less than 3 seconds by my daughter.
She’s inherited the nuts and chocolate love from her dad. She literally couldn’t believe her luck when I served her this bowl for dinner. Haha! Yes, for dinner because that’s when I was finally finished photographing these gorgeous bowls :P
This almond butter and cherry bowl I chose for myself because the combination of nut butter + cherry is UNBEATABLE in my opinion.
It’s absolutely amazing and I’m always looking for ways to add healthy fats to my diet. Nut butters are an extraordinary healthy fat and taste soooo good mixed into steel cut oats!
My son immediately pointed at the raspberry, white chocolate, chia bowl. He’s not a chocolate fan with exception of white chocolate and how couldn’t he? It’s the best tasting chocolate ever :P
Raspberries mixed into steel cut oats taste uh-mazing. The slight sourness and at the same time sweetness offer a feast for your senses.
It was super hard to leave the peach, pecan, blueberry bowl for my husband. We saved it for his breakfast the best day but only after each of us giving it a small (ok, who am I kidding?) BIG bite to try how it tastes.
OMG!!! Sooooo goood!!! Pecans and peaches and instant oats were probably married in their past life. Seriously!
Now tell me, which Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats Bowl will you try first? Which one do you think will be your favorite and which one ended up really being your favorite? You know what? I tried them all and I can’t make up my mind!!!
Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats Video
Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats 4 Ways
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1.5 cups steel cut oats
- 3 cups water
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1/2-1 cup milk of choice (my favorite are cow's milk and canned coconut milk)
- 1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey or agave nectar)
- Preheat instant pot by pressing the "saute" button. Once hot, add coconut oil and once melted steel cut oats in order to toast them for a little (about 2 minutes) while constantly stirring.
- Add a pinch of salt and water, give it a quick stir and cover with lid and seal.
- Press, "cancel" then "manual" and adjust time to 3 minutes and pressure to "high pressure".
- Go take a shower or do whatever else you have to do for the next 20-ish minutes. The pot will take about 3-5 minutes to get to pressure, 3 minutes for cooking and 16-18 minutes for natural pressure release).
- Once the pin dropped (if it doesn't drop after 20 minutes manually release left over pressure, there should be close to nothing in it anymore), open the lid, add maple syrup and your milk of choice a little at a time while stirring until you reach desired consistency and wetness of your oats. Some like it drier others swimming in milk.
- Top with your favorite topping combo (see notes or photos) and dig in!
Strawberry, hazelnut, dark chocolate
Almond Butter, cherry
Raspberry, white chocolate, chia
Peach, blueberry, pecan
OPTIONAL: edible flowers for decoration You can store the steel cut oats with milk and sweetener but without toppings in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days without a problem.