January’s in full swing now! I’m loving the quietness now that the bustle of the holidays are over. The temperatures outside dropped drastically, and we’ve been snuggled up indoors with pajamas and blankets, good books, hot coffee and one of my favorite winter breakfasts – steel cut oats.
I started making overnight crockpot steel cut oats in my some years back because I loved waking up to a hot and hearty breakfast on cold winter mornings. But I had to experiment a lot to get them to the point where I was either scrubbing the crockpot for a good half hour in the mornings or waking up every half hour or so to see that the oats hadn’t gotten too hard on top; double-checking them over and over.
Little by little, though, I changed a little bit here and there until I got a method set up for perfect overnight crockpot steel cut oats – where you can sleep in an extra few hours if you want to, and where cleanup is a breeze. And perfectly made steel cut oats awaits you for breakfast every morning.
The first change I made was to stop putting the steel cut oats directly in the crockpot. Even when I’d spray the sides of the pot with cooking spray, I would still be stuck with a baked-on mess pretty regularly. Instead, I started using a long and narrow bowl that I would spray with non-stick spray, and put the steel cut oats and water in there then. After that, I put the bowl in the crockpot and then add enough water to the crockpot so that it comes to about level with the oats and water inside the bowl. This saves a huge mess and actually doubles by cleaning the crockpot while still cooking breakfast.
The second major issue that I changed was the way it cooked overnight. Sure, if I knew I was waking up in 5 or 6 hours, I could set it on low without too much trouble; but after 8 or 9 hours, even on low, there was a good chance that the top of the oats would be hard as a rock.
So after a few changes, I found the best, and most flexible way to cook crockpot steel cut oats. Here it is:
- cooking spray
- a narrow bowl that will fit inside the crockpot when the lid is closed
- 1 part steel cut oats (e.g 1/4 cup)
- 4 parts water or other liquid (e.g. 1 cup)
- seasonings, such as salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, etc
- Take a narrow bowl that will fit in your crockpot with the lid closed.
- Spray or grease it lightly.
- Place steel cut oats in with a 1:4 ration of liquid
- Add salt, if desired, or any other seasoning (brown sugar, cinnamon, dried apples, raisins, etc)
- Place the bowl in the crockpot and fill the crockpot with enough water that it is level (or close enough to level) with the level of the water in the bowl.
- Cover and let cook on high for 1 hour.
- Turn the crockpot to the “warm” setting, and go to sleep.
- In the morning, the steel cut oats should be perfectly cooked.
- Add any extras as desired (I usually top my oats with sesame seeds or slivered almonds) and enjoy your healthy, minimum-effort breakfast!
All that’s left to do is enjoy! Have you had success with steel cut oats in the crockpot? I’d love to hear about your methods as well!