Try Something New: Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats

Cooked a little on the dry side, just the way the Tiny Kitchen Assistant likes it.

I eat oats every weekday morning. No, really. Whether it’s regular old rolled oats or homemade muesli, it’s my go-to breakfast. Steel cut oats are great, but who has time to make them on a regular weekday morning when I’m juggling emails, school lunch-making and kid-dressing to even contemplate monitoring something on the stove.

I’ve tried cooking oats in the slow cooker before, but they inevitably scorch. The slow cooker ceases to be a time saver if you have to spend your time chipping scorched oats off the side of the crock.

But I recently saw several posts about cooking the oats in a separate container within the crock, nestled lovingly inside a water bath (bain-marie) like you’d do with a custard. This was worth a try.

The ratios are 1 part oats to 3 parts liquid for a more firm consistency, and 1 part oats to 4 parts liquid for a more classically creamy texture.


  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3-4 cups water, milk or some combination (see above note about texture preferences)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Splash of vanilla extract


Find a Pyrex measuring cup or baking dish that’s large enough to hold 4-5 cups of liquid AND can fit into your slow cooker. (Yes, check this first.)

Mix all ingredients in the Pyrex container. Place into the crock.

Pour water into the crock (NOT the Pyrex container) until the Pyrex is about 1/3 to 1/2 submerged.

Cover and set the slow cooker to low for 8 hours.

Go to sleep.

Wake up to discover that breakfast is ready. Mix with your favorite goodies: brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, maple syrup, dried fruits, nuts… whatever your heart desires.


The Tiny Kitchen Assistant was surprised to see that breakfast was coming out of the slow cooker. “But isn’t that thing the chicken-pasta [cacciatore] maker? I thought it only made meat stuff. It can make oatmeal, too?” He actually enjoyed it and suggested some fancy modifications that may be attempted and posted here at a later date.

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