How to Make Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats

According to my social media, apparently kids are going back to school. I also know this because, in addition to trying to “like” hundreds of back to school pics, my own kids have gone back. Somehow, my oldest is in his first year of junior high, my middle is in her last year of elementary, and my youngest is in kindergarten and I feel like I’m about due for senior citizen discounts or something (and also probably due for some therapy. This is harder than I anticipated, and also really wonderful.)

Anyway. Enough feelings. Back to food. I don’t know about you guys, but breakfasts (and, let’s face it, dinner) these days are stressful. We’ve gone from lazy summer mornings where someone grabs a hotdog bun at 9:30 to trying to get out the door by 7:30. Don’t get me wrong. We have plenty of quick, non-hot (read: cold cereal) breakfasts around my house, but I love having something a little more hearty and healthy. I’m a huge fan of steel cut oats, but, unlike rolled oats, they take a long time to cook. Enter the Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker.) I try to get up at least 30 minutes before my kids, so if I throw this into the Instant Pot as soon as I get up, it’s done and on the warm setting by the time my kids are ready to eat, without all the swear words of making a pot of oatmeal on the stovetop when it boils over. Because it happens every. Damn. Time.

You’ll need some oil (I like coconut oil for lots of reasons–it’s solid, which is perfect for coating the pot, plus it tastes good), water, salt, and steel cut oats.

If you’ve never cooked with and/or seen steel cut oats, they aren’t like regular rolled oats that you’re probably more familiar with. They look kind of like rice or grains of wheat.

They’re a little chewier and heartier than traditional rolled oats, but they take much more time to cook.

This method will not work with rolled or instant oats. You’ll cook them much too long. Y’all know I love you, but if you send an angry email or comment about how you ruined your super expensive Instant Pot because you followed the recipe exactly except that you used instant oats instead of steel cut oats, I might steel cut my eyeballs. I’m not saying this to be mean. I’m not saying this to incite riots among the keyboard warriors. I’m saying it because sometimes, someone needs to say, “Not today. Not those oats.” This is one of those times.

Using a paper towel, grab some coconut oil and rub it around the inside of the pot of the pressure cooker, all the way to the top.

Add the oats,


and salt.

Cook 12-14 minutes (use the manual setting; if you have the option of high or low, choose high.) When it’s done cooking, use the natural release (don’t manually release the pressure) for 10 minutes, then release the remaining pressure (if any) and open the pot. Stir the liquid into the oats until combined and serve immediately with desired toppings or mix-ins–for this bowl, I used fresh raspberries, orange zest, a sprinkle of ground ginger, some toasted, sliced almonds, and brown sugar. And a splash of milk.

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Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats

  • Author: Our Best Bites


Steel cut oats are hearty and delicious, but they need a lot of time and attention. Cooking them in an electric pressure cooker results in creamy, perfectly cooked oats much more quickly without having to bother with them on the stovetop!


  • Coconut Oil
  • 4.5 cups water
  • 1.5 cups steel cut oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Using a paper towel, grab some coconut oil and rub it around the inside of the pot of the pressure cooker, all the way to the top. Add the water, oats, and salt. Cook 12-14 minutes (use the manual setting; if you have the option of high or low, choose high. 12 minutes will have chewier oats, 14 minutes will be more creamy. If you live at a high altitude, add 1-2 minutes to your desired cook time.) When it’s done cooking, use the natural release (don’t manually release the pressure) for 10 minutes, then release the remaining pressure (if any) and open the pot. Stir the liquid into the oats until combined and serve immediately.


  1. Looks delicious!! My steel cut oats are from Bob’s Red Mill and say “quick cooking steel cut oats”. Do you think those will work using these same cooking times?

      1. Kathy ! Thanks so much. I just used this ratio and it worked perfectly ! 3 minutes was the perfect time on the quick cook bobs red mill! I love to cook these in the pressure cooker because it never fails they boil over on the stove ?

    1. No need to cook quick cooking steel cut oats in a pressure cooker. These will cook up quickly in a sauce pan on your stove. Follow pkg directions.

  2. I’m so excited to learn that I can make steel cut oats in a pressure cooker because I love oatmeal! But my pressure cooker doesn’t have a choice of high or medium setting so do I push the setting that says rice? I’m so looking forward to making it!!

  3. I’ve been trying to get up the nerve to try cooking steel cut oats. Thanks for a simple method that doesn’t scare me!

  4. Yay, thanks for this recipe! I get the huge bag of steel cut oats from Costco, but it’s the quick cook version. I’ll have to experiement with this recipe but probably for a shorter cooking time.

  5. If your pot has it, you can set a delayed start. Then you have one less task in the morning. I’ve done this successfully with my instant pot.

    1. Actually, I was wondering about this. If I do prep it the night before and set for a delayed start, would I change the time for cooking, since it’s been soaking all night?

      1. I do this all the time! I’ve done 1 cup oats to 3 or 3.5 cups water. So I would just try the ratio here and see if it works. Then adjust to your liking. I love that my oatmeal is done when I wake up!!

  6. Thanks for the recipe! I love the texture of steel cut oats. How much would you say this yields? I tried to read it on the recipe, but maybe my pregnant brain missed it. Also, do you rinse your steel cut oats first ever? Thanks!

  7. Mmm! We love steel cut oats! Can’t wait to try this recipe. On a somewhat unrelated note, I’m packing school lunch for the first time this year and I’ve been checking out your lunch posts. I see you use those cute reusable silicone molds. I would like to get some as well, but I’m unsure of which ones to get. Ive been poking around on Amazon, but everything seems to have such mixed reviews. I wondered if you could maybe share with me what brand you like?

    1. Okay, here’s what I’ve got! 🙂 Like I said, handwashing them will solve a lot of problems like them losing their shape or smelling funny.




      Hope that helps!

      1. Thank you so much, Kate! It was super sweet of you to go to so much effort. I’m headed to amazon to buy all three! Thanks again! ?

  8. Do you suppose I would get the same result cooking it in almond milk? I just got a pressure cooker but I dont want to burn the almond milk. I like the creaminess of almond milk better than water when making oatmeal.

  9. Ohhh this looks gorgeous and delicious! I just got an instant pot bit I’m kind of at a loss with what to make with it. Could you please post some more recipes?

  10. Ok, I’m going to ask the question you told us not to ask. Kind of. I believe you and will not use rolled oats, but my question is, can you cook rolled oats in an electric pressure cooker? I’ve looked into it and thought the answer was no, but then I’ve seen all sorts of recipes for “Instant pot oatmeal” on Pinterest that use rolled oats. Are all these people stupid and risking their appliance or do they know something I don’t? Thanks very much!
    p.s. I’ve been buying your 400 calories or less book in bulk when it goes on sale and giving them as gifts. I get rave reviews about it from everyone and rightly so!!

    1. You totally could, just not for the same amount of time, hahaha! So not a stupid question at all. For me, those cook so quickly that it isn’t worth it to me to lug out my instant pit, but not everyone feels that way. And regarding the book?? ???Thank you!!!

    2. The reason rolled oats aren’t recommended is that quick releasing things which are really starchy can clog your vent, and it’s hard to clean if you let that clogged vent sit and dry out. You can avoid that by using natural pressure release instead of a quick release. ?:o)

  11. That bowl of oats is beautiful!! I need to do this…can I use quinoa/brown rice/chia seeds/shredded coconut instead of steel cut oats?? Bahahahahahaha!

  12. That coconut oil tip is genius! I think you just saved me 20 minutes a day. I’ve read other recipes which suggest cooking the oats in another bowl to keep the pressure cooker insert clean. ? No way, I’m too lazy for that.

  13. You should try the “pot in pot” method with your same recipe. I think it really is easier to clean up. There are no cooked-on bits on the instant pot insert to scrub! You just set a heat proof bowl with the oatmeal ingredients in it on the steamer rack, add about 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pot (not the bowl with the oatmeal) and cook as you directed. It’s kind of awesome. Nothing baked onto the instant pot insert–pretty much just a rinse is needed when you’re done, and the bowl with the oatmeal doesn’t usually have anything stuck to it either because of the steam. And, I loved, “Not today. Not those oats.” Someone did need to say it. I’m still chuckling.

  14. I love steel cut oats cooked in the instant pot. I use this recipe and add a little butter, vanilla and a few stevia leaves and then cook. It’s delicious!

  15. I just tried this–sort of–it worked great! I have a straight pressure cooker (new) and am at mile-high altitude. Cooked for 16 minutes (from start to finish–not from steam to finish) on “2” (which is “high”). Added 1/4 cup dried blueberries, 1/2 cup dried cherries, 1/4 cup erythritol (aka Swerve, but I used a generic). Otherwise followed your instructions exactly. So much quicker–nice result. My oats ended up al dente, which is fine. Thanks for your help!

  16. Does the oatmeal in this recipe end up with a coconut flavor from the oil? I am not a huge fan of coconut but love the oatmeal! Thank you so much!

  17. Perfect directions! I cooked mine in the instant pot. There will be no turning back to standing at the stove & stirring!
    It was a little liquidy when I popped open the top, but after stirring and letting it sit for a few minutes, it was just right.
    Thanks for the directions.

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