Step by Step: Steel Cut Oatmeal


Let’s start with breakfast. You have probably  seen steel cut oats here and there, maybe you’ve  read about them on your favorite food site or seen them on a shelf in your local grocery store. Whatever the case, this steel cut oat health trend is the real deal. Steel cut oatmeal makes a healthy and hearty breakfast, touting more nutrition and taste than your average packet of  instant oatmeal. And even though they take much longer to make, the resulting bowl of creamy hearty oatmeal is worth every minute.

I confess I’m usually not one to sit down and make a big breakfast, let alone something that takes 30-40 minutes to make. But, a bowl of steel cut oatmeal complete with brown sugar, cinnamon and blueberries has turned me into a breakfast convert. Something about the creamy wholesome texture and the freedom to top it with whatever I’m in the mood for, not to mention the added nutrition sold me out to loving breakfast. If it weren’t for my brother and sister in law, I personally probably wouldn’t have had the patience to give it  a try.

But if you plan ahead, you can make this lengthier breakfast recipe work in your daily routine. For example: make a big batch of steel cut oatmeal on Sunday and measure out individual portions for the week.

What makes steel cut oats better than the other stuff?

By definition, steel cut oats are the groats (insides of whole grain oats) chopped into 2 or 3 pieces per groat. Compared to regular oats known as rolled oats, they have typically undergone less processing and therefore have retained more of their nutrition and texture. Rolled oats have been steamed and toasted and resteamed before they hit your pot to be cooked once again whereas steel cut oats have only been cut and still have a layer of bran.

The Recipe

The original recipe ( from Alton Brown of the Food Network) called for using whole milk and buttermilk but after making the entire recipe with just 2 percent – I assure you the final product is still very tasty. So here’s my brother’s version of the recipe, step by step. To see the full text recipe, click here.

Melt butter in saucepan and stir in steel cut oats. Let cook until oats are toasted, giving off a nutty scent, about 3 minutes.

Pour in hot boiling water.

Let bubble, cover and cook for 30 minutes on medium heat.

Uncover, stir and add milk.

Stir until you reach a creamy consistency.

Ah, that’s what it should look like. Yum!


Now add some toppings to your own individual bowls! Our topping choices included blueberries, brown sugar, cinnamon, pancake syrup and raisins. I topped mine with brown sugar, cinnamon and blueberries which turned out to be perfect. But…


…here’s a bowl with the works!

Steel Cut Oatmeal

Take the time to make this hearty breakfast. It’s good for you AND tasty!


1 1/2 Tbs. butter
1 C. steel cut oats
3 C. boiling water
1 C. 2-percent milk

Topping Ideas:
brown sugar
pancake syrup


Melt butter in medium saucepan. Stir in steel cut oats. Cook until oats give off a nutty toasty appearance and scent, about 3 minutes. Add hot water to hot oats. Cover and let cook for 30 minutes. Do not stir. When done, open the cover and stir in milk. Stir until the mixture reaches a creamy consistency. Serve with desired toppings such as blueberries, raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon or pancake syrup.

More Oatmeal Recipes:
Maple Oatmeal
Swiss Oats (Cold Oatmeal)
Deluxe Crockpot Oatmeal
Ultimate High Fiber Oatmeal
Oatmeal with Dates

For even more hearty breakfast recipes, check out the Breakfast Recipe Section on Recipe4Living!

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  • katerina

    I really like steel cut, i do them using the overnight method where you pour boiling water and just let sit. Reheat in the morning and enjoy!

  • Jessie

    I must give these steel cut oats a try! looks like it is worth making

  • Hugging the Coast

    You can also make these in a Thermos or well insulated container. Very convenient and delicious!

  • Heidi / Savory Tv

    I love steel cut oatmeal, we use the Mccain’s brand, (the only brand we have!) and the texture is so nice. Great recipe, cheers!

  • Shirley Hyatt

    I have read about steel cut oatmeal, but I have never bought any. What brand and where would I buy this? Grocery store, health food store, etc. Thanks.

  • Shirley Hyatt

    OK. I went shopping today and found the steel cut oatmeal. Will give them a try.

  • Mary Quinn

    I like to make granola using old fashioned oats. Can the steel cut oats adapt to that baking method?

  • RC

    Thanks for the pictures W recipe

  • nomel

    Hrmm…I guess I’m too impatient. I generally cook them for 10 minutes with a decent boil then add brown sugar or honey. Ends up being much more chewy than regular oatmeal, but, that’s why I buy steel cut, I don’t like the paste of regular oatmeal.

    I’ll definitely give this a try though!

  • Joan Barrette

    Just had my first bowl, I’m a convert.

  • recepta

    Thanks mate. I will publish this in my cookin site in Bulgaria.

  • enamel dutch oven

    Your step by step recipes make it really easy for us amateurs to cook these delicious dishes. Thanks and keep them coming.

  • Ruth

    There is nothing like a good bowl of oat meal in the morning. I have it almost the way you describe. Ruth

  • cooki

    I love steel cut oatmeal, we use the Mccain’s brand, (the only brand we have!) and the texture is so nice. Great recipe, cheers!

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