Friday, January 9, 2009

Overnight Crock Pot Steel Cut Oats {Oatmeal}

How to make the best Overnight Steel Cut Oats. This is the easiest method to enjoy healthy steel cut oats . Just 5 minutes prep time the night before and wake up to perfectly cooked oatmeal in the morning.  
"Revised Post For Overnight Crock Pot Oatmeal"

How about a nice hearty breakfast as soon as you wake in the morning. If that sounds good to you then Overnight Crock Pot Oatmeal is the recipe.  You can assemble this breakfast dish in the crock pot the night before and wake up to a bowl of hot, nourishing oatmeal. A lot of people dislike oatmeal, but I love it especially on those cold weekend mornings.

Oatmeal is such a healthy, cheap and satisfying breakfast, my kids are not crazy about it but I am hoping by introducing them to the variety of topping choices that they just might change their minds.
Make sure when making this recipe that you remember it is important to use Steel-Cut Oats; old-fashioned or Quick Oats become too soft during slow-cooking.
I purchased my Steele cut oats at Sprouts Farmers Market.
They were ridiculously cheap, I couldn't believe it I got 2lbs for $1.00. You can also use McCann's Irish Oatmeal. I have seen the McCann's brand at a specialty store but, it was $7 for a container. (Whew to pricey for me) most local organic food, whole foods or central market stores carry Steele Cut Oats.

Variety of Oats   

  • Steel cut oats:  are whole oat groats that have been chopped into smaller pieces.
  • Rolled oats:  are oat groats that have been steamed, rolled and flaked for easier cooking.
  • Quick cooking:  oats are rolled oats that have been chopped into smaller pieces. 
  • Instant Oats:  are basically powdered oats and the most processed oats. 

Post Revision:
My previous recipe for overnight oatmeal was cooked directly in the crock pot. I have been playing around with this oatmeal recipe a bit and decided that using a water bath method to cook the oatmeal is the best way.
The oatmeal is still cooked overnight in the crock pot, but instead of adding everything directly to the crock pot it is added to a smaller bowl.

Then that bowl is placed in the crock pot in a water bath, covered with the lid and cooked all night.
This way the oatmeal kind of bakes slowly all night and you will not have the crusty browning on the edges of the oatmeal that happens by just cooking it directly in the crock pot. I am loving this method so much better.

I have added pictures of the water bath method so you can see what I am talking about. By far this is the best way for this recipe.
This method will also work if you have one of those crock pots with the multiple bowls. Just add water to the bottom bowl and then the oatmeal mixture to the bowl on top. Cover and cook on low. 

You'll need: Steel cut oats, dried apples or other dried fruit, half and half or milk, water, cinnamon sugar and brown sugar, vanilla extract, butter, 6 quart crock pot, and a smaller bowl that fits inside of the crock pot. (if using the water bath method)

This is what steele cut oat's looks like. Measure 1 - cup of oats and add to the smaller inner bowl. Do not use regular oatmeal as it will not hold up to the cooking process and be mushy. 
Add the four cups of water, milk or half and half, brown sugar, vanilla, butter and cinnamon sugar. If you would like to add dried fruit add that as well or save as a topping. Fill the crock with water to about halfway. 

Set the inner bowl in the crock and see how high the water rises. Add more water in the crock pot if necessary. Try to match it so that the water reaches about the same height on the outside of the oats bowl or just below the bowl. Place the lid on your crock pot. Set on low and go to bed. The oatmeal needs to cook on low for about 7-8 hours.

When you get up the next morning remove the lid from the crock pot your oatmeal should be cooked perfectly in that steamy water bath.

Yummy!!!! add oatmeal to individual serving bowls and add your desired toppings. If you don't like your oatmeal really thick. Add some additional milk to the bowl and warm in the microwave before adding your toppings. If I don't have dried fruit on hand I like to dice up a fresh apple, and pecans just before serving.

Overnight Crock Pot Oatmeal

1 - cup steel cut oats (do not use old fashioned oats)
4 - cups water (if using a slow cooker liner decrease the water to 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 - cup half and half or milk
1 - cup dried fruit of choice, optional (apples, raisins, cranberries, cherries, etc)
1/4 - cup brown sugar
1 - tablespoon butter
1 - teaspoon vanilla extract
2 - 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

First off find a bowl that will hold four cups of liquid, and fit inside your crock pot with the lid on. Measure out one cup of Steele cut oats. 

Pour that into the inner bowl. Add the four cups of water, milk or half and half, brown sugar, vanilla, butter and cinnamon sugar. 

If you would like to add dried fruit into the oatmeal add it now or save to use as a topping.  Fill the crock with water to about halfway.

Set the inner bowl in the crock and see how high the water rises. Add more water in the crock if necessary. 

Try to match it so that the water reaches about the same height on the outside of the oats bowl or just below the bowl. 

Place the lid on your crock pot. Set on low and go to bed. When you get up the next morning your oatmeal should be cooked perfectly in that steamy water bath.

Toppings to add before serving:Butter, sugar, honey, agave, splenda,
cinnamon, nuts, raisins, dried fruit
chocolate chips, maple syrup

I don't like to add my raisins to the oatmeal while it cooks, not everyone in my house loves raisins. To solve that problem I just let the raisins sit in a cup of hot water the next morning for about 5 minutes. Then drain and they are nice and plump and ready to be used.

Recipe yields 4 servings.

3 in 1 Slow Cooker Method for Overnight Oatmeal
At the beginning of this post I mentioned that you can also cook this oatmeal in a slow cooker/crock pot with multiple bowls. Well this is what I am talking about. I got this bad boy for Christmas, I guess mama was a good girl.
It has been on my wish list for sometime now. We are big oatmeal eaters so I have been using it like crazy. I am adding a photo tutorial of cooking the oatmeal in a 3 in 1 slow cooker in case you already have one. 

Fill water about 1/2 to 3/4 full in your largest bowl (6 qt). This is sometimes hard to determine the first time so add the water slowly adding more if needed.

add all of the oatmeal ingredients to the smallest bowl and place on top of the large bowl. This is the point where you will need to check if you have enough water in the large bowl. Make sure the smaller bowl is touching the water like a water bath, but not to much water where it will overflow.

place the lid on top.

select the low setting and push the blinking power butter for the 6 qt (largest bowl) capacity bowl, since that is the bowl on the bottom. Cook at least 8 eight hours or overnight.

After add the oatmeal to serving bowl. I like to add some milk to the oatmeal to thin it out just a bit. Then add diced apples and pecans. That is my favorite way to eat oatmeal. So there ya go two ways to make this wonderful oatmeal.

Cook's Notes: Do not use regular oatmeal as it will not hold up to the cooking process and become mushy.  Steel cut oats are the only oatmeal that can be used for this recipe. Also the fresh apples pictured are added as a topping rather than added to the oatmeal while it cooks. 


Aggie said... #

I need to do this! I love steel cut oats but don't make them enough b/c of time in the morning...this sounds like a great way to wake up!!

Angela said... #

What a great recipe...I may m,ake this for my older kids maybe they would actually eat breakfast!!!

How many servings does this make?


Reeni said... #

This looks really good! Who wouldn't want to wake up to that in the morning!? Breakfast comfort, yummy!

Joie de vivre said... #

I love overnight oatmeal!!!!

Amber said... #

I tried this one time, I dont remember where I got the recipe, maybe Southern Plate? Anyway, i guess my crockpot cooks too hot because i cooked it on low all night and it was wayyyy over cooked the next morning. Im thinking about trying it again though!

Anonymous said... #

Didn't even know you could do oatmeal overnight like that. What an easy way to make sure breakfast is always on the table.

Nonnas News said... #

What a great recipe! How neat to wake up and have your breakfast all hot and ready for you!

Tina Butler said... #

Angela this recipe yields about 4 servings.

James said... #

That looks delicious! We just got a few very ripe mangos. I think I'll do those with brown sugar.

Nonnas News said... #

please send me an email to so I can add you to my readers. I decided to set my blog to private

Aimee said... #

When I buy a canister of oat meal, I dump it out into a mixing bowl and mix in sugar, cinnamon, and a bag of dried spiced appled & cranberries (they are where the rasins are). My kids LOVE it this way and I dont buy cereal anymore.

Rachel said... #

I linked to your blog from Mennonite Girls Can Cook.
I can't wait to try this recipe!

Tina Butler said... #

Hi Rachel, Mennonite Girls is one of favorites. I stop by everyday and have it on my blogroll. I hope you like the oatmeal if you give it a try.

Kay said... #

I'm totally trying this recipe out! I love my oatmeal topped with Steen's Cane Syrup instead of brown sugar or regular syrup. Dark and yummy goodness.

Denise said... #

Thought this was wonderful. I used a 9x5 pyrex loaf pan because that was all that would fit in my crockpot. Refrigerated the remaining oatmeal in the loaf pan and microwaved this morning with milk and it was delicious. Wish I had this when my children were young.

Tina Butler said... #

Oh Denise good for you! I was just lucky I had a bowl that would fit I hope I never break it LOL. I would of never guessed to use one of my pyrex loaf pans thanks for noting that what a great solution. The next crock pot I purchase will be the white one from Hamiliton Beach with the 3 different size bowls so I can stack them. I so want that crock pot.

Sandie said... #

I made your original recipe about a month ago, and it was very good! I made this revised version last night and it was awesome! This is now my *regular* oatmeal breakfast :) Thank you for your creative genius!!

Tina Butler said... #

Oh Sandie good for you. I love that oatmeal recipe I cant get enough of my steele cut oats LOL. Ok I am making some for breakfast tomorrow.

DooDaw said... #

YUM - That looks awesome! I am setting my crockpot up right now, and will get it all ready before bed. Brilliant, brilliant idea - sounds so simple! Thanks!!

Beth said... #

What a great idea! I love oatmeal and I also love that I don't have to wash the crockpot! I like to make oatmeal in batches and refrigerate the leftovers. It reheats well in the microwave and I get a healthy breakfast in less than two minutes!

Anonymous said... #

I'm having a hard time finding a bowl that fits in my crock pot (without buying a new one). What kind of bowls are okay to put in a crock pot overnight? (My loaf pan does not fit).

Steph said... #

You are a genius! We've been long time steel cut oats fans at our house and only recently discovered that we could cook them while we slept-- but I hated the overcooked crust around the edges of my crockpot. I've been scouring the web looking for a solution and Google led me to your blog. Thanks!

I'll be trying your method tonight, and linking to your post if it works for us (which I very much suspect it will.)

makandaddie said... #

Amazing, amazing, amazing! This has been a hit at my house! I've made it every other day, roating nights with your spiced apple sauce to serve on top. Using the bowl inside is the kicker...always loved the crock pot oatmeal, but not the burned edges or the cleanup! Thanks for all your great ideas...


Tina Butler said... #

makendaddie so glad you like it and the bowl is working for you. I am finding that I am making it alot myself. My dd is asking for it just about everyday b4 school.

Anonymous said... #

I am unsure of how I found your blog but I am thilled that I did. This crockpot oatmeal recipe is awesome I made it last night. Living in Orlando FL on the 6th day of freezing temps it was just the ticket. Thank you.

Anonymous said... #

I just bought a crock pot and this was my first meal and i love this recipe!! im trying not to eat it all at once but its so yummy!! thanks it says it makes 4 serving but is 3/4 cup 1 serving?

Janis said... #

Ours is just a two-person household and, since I'm the only one who really likes oatmeal, I decided to use my smallest slow cooker (1.5 qt) to cook one serving of oatmeal right in my bowl. I don't like eating leftover oatmeal, so the single-serving cooking method works out great and I only have to clean my bowl!

I decided to refine my technique and that's how I found your post. Great info. here. Until now, I've just plunked my bowl inside of my slow cooker without using a water bath. That has worked fine for me, but I'll be using a water bath from now on as it is probably safer for the crock and the bowl.

To those who are uncertain about what kind of container you can use in your slow cooker insert, I use a regular microwave safe soup/cereal bowl. You should be fine with just about any oven-safe bowl.

For a tasty & indulgent mix-in, try adding a sliced banana and a spoonful of cocoa powder along with some cinnamon and your preferred sweetener and liquid. Chocolate-banana oatmeal! Yum!

JavaMama said... #

Wow, I was just talking tonight about wanting to look for a crock pot oatmeal recipe, and then I accidentally stumbled upon this. It was meant to be! THANKS!

Anonymous said... #

I was curious how much different steel cut oatmeal was compared to rolled oats. I tried the crock pot recipe and was amazed how good it turned out. (1st time)! I'm not a cook, just an old guy who happens to like oatmeal!
There is a noticable difference in the consistancy and taste. Thanks for a recipe and a rather good start to my day!

Gourmet Mama said... #

This looks great! I'm trying it straight in the crockpot since I have a severe shortage of bowls at the moment. My gas just went out while I was trying to make muffins for tomorrow, so this is perfect!

pattys said... #

i have a question about the crock pot oats.
I am new to this, and so my question may seem dumb! but i was wondering if a glass bowl would be ok going into the crock pot. Can it withstand the heat? Also in the recipe you call for four cups of water or half and half or milk, which do you suggest? I like to make my instant oatmeal with hot water and then ad milk, but i dont know what is better with crock pot oats...also, how much is a serving? Can't wait to try the recipe!!!

Tina Butler said... #

Hi Patty I think you are reading it incorrectly. In the step by step directions it states.

Add the four cups of water, milk or half and half, brown sugar, vanilla, butter and cinnamon sugar. If you would like to add dried fruit or a cut up apple add it as well.

*It is meaning to add the 4 cups of water then the milk OR half and half. Not water or milk. It is a combination of milk and water. The Or is for milk of half and half its your preference some prefer milk instead of cream. But you use both water and milk. Hope this helps.

Tina Butler said... #

I forgot--- I think a glass pan would be fine. I have heard others using a glass loaf pan so it should withstand the heat.

Lori Anderson said... #

Yum - this looks great! My hubby is now our family breakfast cook extraordinaire. We just got a new crock pot and love oatmeal in the mornings. Just passed the link onto said hubby. Thanks!
Lori (BlogFrog)

tahtimbo said... #

Thank you for this great recipe. I have to admit that I've never heard of this before, but my wife has and she really wants to give this a try.
Thank you again, I'm off to bookmark this article :)

Brittany said... #

Wow, I have never heard of doing this before to cook oatmeal overnight in a crockpot. I might have to give this a try as my daughter (2 years old) and I love oatmeal but I usually dont feel like making it in the mornings.

Nicole said... #

Glass bowls work great!! I've been making this for over a month now . . . my 1 year old can't get enough of it but my almost 3 year old is still hooked on instant (I'm trying to convert him ;-) Thank you so much for posing this recipie!!!

jodi said... #

Thanks so much for this recipe. I've never used the double boiler method in my crock pot before. All ingredients are added and ready to cook. I'm looking forward to a delicious and stress-free breakfast for my three girls in the morning. Yay, comfort food!!! <3

Anonymous said... #

I wanted to make this for a family event, do you NEED to use the double boiler method? I wanted to make it for about 8 people.


Anonymous said... #

I was so excited to try this recipe last night! This morning when I got up the oatmeal was gooey. It didn't look nice and baked like your photo. Do you think I should omit the milk and use only water? It was still tasty though!

Ashley said... #

I'm excited about creating this recipe tomorrow morning but am a little worried aboutthe serving size. I need to triple the recipes -- do you think there will be enough room in a large crock pot? (I'm wondering how much space is left once you cook the original recipe). If not, I can use two. Please let what you suggest!

Anonymous said... #

I'm so glad I ran across your site. I was looking for a good method for overnight steel oats and wasn't quite satisfied with the other methods I'd found. Then I found you and your 3 in 1 Crockpot, I also have one and was so excited by your method. I'll be trying it tomorrow. Thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said... #

I am so excited to try this recipe. My 3 year old daughter loves oatmeal:) I ran into Sprouts this afternoon to get the oats, so I am all ready to get it started. Cannot wait to wake up in the morning to some delicious oatmeal.
I am so excited that I found your site. I love baking and you have some amazing recipes that I cannot wait to try.

Anonymous said... #

We've made this recipe twice now, and the water bath makes the oatmeal PERFECT!! Also, I use a security timer (one of these timers that you plug your lamp into to turn on an off when you're away) to plug my crock pot into. Then, I can feel okay about going to bed early, and not waking up to over-cooked oatmeal.

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe!

Unknown said... #

Great! I was going to buy one of those 2 cup crock pots, but now I don't have to buy anything - I already have the steel cut oats! Thank you so much. Tonight's experiment will be 3/4 cups oats and 3 cups water.

Dani_Zaz said... #

Thank you very much for this recipe. A friend of mine shared it because my crockpot attempted failed the other day. Your crockpot method was awesome. I used barley and quinoa instead of steal cut oats and turned out great.

Thank you.

Anonymous said... #

I am going to Weight Watchers and at the last meeting people were talking about making steel cut oats in the their crock pot. I typed steel cut oats in crock pot and there were many sights with receipes. I read alot of them, but yours sounded the best. I have to tell you, I made them last night and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them!

Thanks so much!!!!!

Anonymous said... #

Thank you for the recipe! I have 3 questions. How do you remove the bowl from the crockpot? Are steel oats and Irish oats the same? Dont I need a bowl that holds 4 and half ups because of adding milk or water? Nancy

Anonymous said... #

Has anyone tried doubling this recipe? I'm using the 3-in-1 Hamilton slow cooker and I'm thinking of using the 4 Qt inside of the 6 Qt but don't want to ruin breakfast. So far, the 2 Qt inside the 6 Qt works great! So yummy!

Anonymous said... #

Just a note/idea for those that have leftover, as I always do. We place the leftovers in a small loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for the next day. In the morning take out of the pan, slice (like you would bread) and fry in a small amount of butter/oil mix or if you have just made bacon, that works well too. Its called "fried mush". We serve it with Maple syrup, bacon and slices of oranges or anykind of freash fruit. Years ago it was a common thing to have.

You have to try it.

Anonymous said... #

I have seen this recipe before and have never tried it. I googled it tonight and this is where it brought me. I am so happy that I have found your site. Even though it is summer (thank goodness for central air) I just started a new diet and I know oatmeal is good for you so I thought why now... I am looking forward to trying this tomorrow morning. I have it all set up in the crock and am heading to bed :-). I will stop back in the morning to let you know how it turned out. I also look forward to reading more of you posts. Thanks!

Diana said... #

This is such a great recipe! I make this everyday for my kids and family! They love it! Its soo easy to throw together at night, and then at 6am, when I go to work, you have steaming hot steel cut oats! Then I can leave it there for my family to enjoy after I leave. Its like a dream come true! Thanks for a great start to my day!

Chelsey said... #

How do you remove the bowl? I tried it and couldn't get the bowl out even with my silicone oven mitt. Then I tried scoping out the oatmeal while the bowl was still in the slow cooker and it was like a boat in a storm filling with water. Please give pointers...

Anonymous said... #

I was looking for a recipe for crock pot oatmeal and found your website. I have a 3 piece set of Paula Deen glass mixing bowls. The 2 quart size fits perfectly in my crock pot and the bottom of the mixing bowl says it is oven and dishwasher safe. I am trying your recipe tonight. I look forward to some delicious oatmeal in the morning!

ButtaRumCake said... #

Just tried the recipe this morning (well last night LOL)

It was MARVELOUS!! I used the water bath technique and it came out creamy and delicious! (I think I used a bit too much cinnamon, but it's not bad)

My 13-year old daughter and I will by trying other recipes as well. I look forward to it!


Leigh said... #

Oh THANK YOU!! I just googled "Crock Pot Oatmeal" to find other versions of this recipe because I made it last night and woke up to a gooey-burny-soupy mess that is not edible. I think the water-bath may be just the thing!
Thanks for figuring that out!
Be well,

Marnie said... #

I tried this recipe last night (water bath method) and can't believe how good it turned out! My husband leaves way too early in the morning for me to make him any kind of breakfast. He could not stop raving about the oatmeal and actually compared the consistancy to pudding. I will be making this recipe again and again. Thank you.

Michele said... #

I made the crock pot oatmeal for the first time last night. It was so easy, and it turned out perfectly. I loved the idea of using a bowl inside. Clean up was easy. Thanks.

Anonymous said... #

I love this method of cooking oatmeal, it's really nice to have it ready first thing in the morning. I don't use any of the sugar in the recipe. I put in steel cut oats, water, 1% milk, butter (you could probably skip this if you worry about fat), one chopped apple, the vanilla and cinnamon to taste (I probably use about a tablespoon) and it is delicious! You really don't need the sugar. Enjoy!

Anonymous said... #

I made this for the first time last night, using dried cherries, cranberries, and raisins. My husband left me a note that said, "wow, yummy". Enough said. Fantastic!

Jennifer said... #

I am so excited to try this recipe out!

I was wondering if anyone might be able to shed some light on my little idea... I don't have a pan big enough to fit in my crock pot and I don't want the problem of the crusted edges! So I was thinking... I have plastic slow cooker liners so I thought I would put some water in the slow cooker, then add the liner on top... putting the ingredients in the plastic liner... hoping that would be similar to a water bath... what do ya'll think? Maybe it will work??? I hope so bc either way I'm trying it!! Thanks for sharing such an easy recipe that looks so delicious!

Jana Eshaghian said... #

I've tried many overnight oatmeal recipes and this is by far THE BEST! No one in our family could resist it this morning - even my non-breakfast eater. Thank you so much for your tried and true recipe. I'll be looking for more of your recipes online. All the best, Jana in L.A.

chefbeck said... #

I finally took the time to make this. Followed your directions for the water bath in the crockpot method. What a delight when I got up this morning! Followed your recipe exactly except instead of adding ground cinnamon, I used 2 cinnamon sticks. For fruit, I used sunmaid raisins "ready to bake". Without a doubt, the best oatmeal I have ever eaten! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

Christina (Sisters Running the Kitchen) said... #

could you use crockpot liners like these?

Anonymous said... #

I haven't tried this yet but I heard you can cook 1 c. oats to 4 c. water, bring to a boil and turn off your stove unit and cover and leave all night until morning. Chris W.

Katieliz said... #

FYI for those who've asked what kind of bowl to use - I've cooked steel cut oats this way using my 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup in my oval crock pot. Works great!

Anonymous said... #

I looked at many slow cooker recipes and finally settled on Mommy's. My steel cut oatmeal turned out absolutely wonderful. I put a canning jar ring under the bowl. Really didn't like it sitting directly on the crockpot with the water. I'm going to try unsweetened almond milk for some of the liquid next time. Blaine, MN

Anonymous said... #

Can you put the apples in before cooking so that they are baked apples instead of just adding raw apples to the top?

Tina Butler said... #

I have a recipe for Overnight Apple Pie Oatmeal as well. Here is the link:

Amber said... #

clicking over from Huffington Post! I really love this idea! I am definitely going to try this tonight! Something I never thought of.

YarnyBee said... #

What do you mean by reducing the amt of water if using a liner - by liner do you mean an inner bowl?

Tina Butler said... #

A slow cooker liner is a plastic slow cooker bag you line the crock pot with if you do not use a bowl inside the crockpot