Steel-Cut Oatmeal Recipe

Steel-Cut Oatmeal is easy to make and so delicious!  Learn how to make the creamiest and delicious oatmeal at home for your family.

Steel-Cut Oats are also known as pinhead oats, coarse oats, and Irish or Scottish oats.  These 100% whole grain oats are steel cut, rather than rolled, offering you a heartier texture and a rich, nutty taste.  They look like chopped up rice, take the longest to cook when make steel-cut oatmeal, and have a slightly chewy consistency.

Maryellen of Cook’s Illustrated magazine says, “After making 50 batches of steel-cut oatmeal, we make porridge worth eating again by using steel-cut oats and a simple toasting method that greatly enhances flavor . . . Making hot oatmeal from steel-cut oats took considerably longer than with regular rolled oats (about 25 to 30 minutes total), but the outcome was very much worth the wait.”


Steel-Cut Oatmeal


Steel-Cut Oatmeal Recipe:
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: Steel-Cut Oatmeal Recipe
Servings: 3 to 4 servings
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Toppings**
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, bring water and milk to a simmer; let mixture simmer on medium-low to low heat until you are ready to add the oatmeal.  Remember, simmer and do not boil!

  2. Milk Simmering


  4. Meanwhile, in a medium-size frying pan, heat butter until just beginning to foam; add oats and toast, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until golden and fragrant with butterscotch-like aroma, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

  5. Melting Butter  Adding Steel Cut Oats  Stirring Oatmeal


  7. Add and stir toasted oats into the simmering water/milk liquid; simmer gently until oatmeal mixture thickens and resembles gravy, approximately 20 minutes.  Add salt and stir lightly.  Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until oats absorb almost all liquid and oatmeal is thick and creamy, with a pudding-like consistency, approximately 7 to 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.


  9. Oatmeal Thickening Up
  10. Off heat, let oatmeal stand, uncovered, 5 minutes.  NOTE: If you cover the pot during this rest period, moisture condenses on the lid and drips back down on the hot cereal - so don't do it!

  11. Serve immediately with milk or cream and your favorite toppings (such as brown sugar, maple syrup, raisins, dried fruit, etc).

  12. NOTE: To double the recipe, increase the cooking time to 10 to 15 minutes once the salt has been added.

  13. Add Optional Toppings (see below). Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Recipe Notes

* Also known as Scotch oats, Irish oatmeal, and pinhead oats.  Steel-cut oats are whole oats that are cut into thirds instead of being rolled and flattened into flakes.  Many supermarkets sell pre-packaged steel-cut oats.

**Optional Toppings:

Apple juice

Raisins or Dried Cherries

Milk or Cream

Brown Sugar or Maple Syrup


Dried Fruits

Chopped nuts

Sliced Banana

Peanut Butter


Related Oatmeal Recipe:


Steel-Cut Oatmeal 

Steel-Cut Oats with Caramelized Sugar


Source:  This perfect recipe for making the perfect bowl of oatmeal is by Maryellen Driscoll, Consulting Editor for Cook’s Illustrated magazine.  Article, recipe, and comments published in the Cook’s Illustrated magazine, March/April 2000.


Cereals and Oatmeal   

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