When we started using the Instant Pot, it seemed like a natural for Steel-Cut Oatmeal. Cook’s Illustrated had excellent directions for making steel-cut oats in their July 2009 issue and the end result was always wonderful. But even though Cook’s Illustrated said to cook the oats for 7 to 10 minutes, it always seemed to take more like 20 or 25 minutes.
I have quit arguing with steel-cut oats about how long it takes to cook them. Now we start the oats in the Instant Pot with a quick sauté as recommended by Cook’s Illustrated, then switch over to slow cooking for 30 minutes. This method gives me time to go for a nice walk while the oats cook safely.
Of course I also searched online for recipes to make steel-cut oats in an Instant Pot. There are plenty of such recipes, but none I found included milk. I understand that steamy milk might clog the vent when cooking under pressure. But our method doesn’t involve pressure, so we can leave milk in the recipe.
A helpful Instant Pot accessory for this recipe (and other grains and rice) is a non-stick inner pot. It makes clean-up easy. And since you are not pressure-cooking the oatmeal, you can use a glass lid (also helpfully manufactured by Instant Pot) instead of the locking lid.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup steel-cut oats
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 cup whole milk
3 cups hot water from tap or kettle
- Plug in the Instant Pot and set to Sauté.
Add the butter to the Instant Pot and heat until just beginning to foam. Add oats and cook, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant with butterscotch-like aroma, 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Add salt.
Add milk and hot water to toasted oats and stir to mix. Allow to cook a few minutes on Sauté until the mixture is simmering.
- Cancel Sauté setting.
- Set Instant Pot to Slow Cook.
- Set timer for 30 or 60 minutes.
- Place lid on pot.
- If you will be returning to your Instant Pot within the hour, you can turn on Keep Warm. Otherwise turn off Keep Warm to avoid baking your oatmeal.
When you are ready to eat the oats, remove the lid and stir. Let the oatmeal stand uncovered 5 minutes to thicken up. Serve and enjoy with your favorite toppings. At our house, we love golden raisins and Highland County maple syrup on oatmeal.