How to Cook Steel Cut Oats in a Rice Cooker

As a second generation Chinese American, I grew up with a rice cooker in our house since the day I was born. In fact, I think the first kitchen appliance I ever bought was a rice cooker. Until recently, however, the only thing I ever cooked in a rice cooker was white or brown rice, and occasionally congee (Chinese rice porridge).

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been playing around with cooking grains other than rice in the rice cooker, including oats. My youngest son had just gotten braces and his mouth was super sore. Although he would have been happier just to survive on ice cream, pudding and gelatin for a couple of days, I didn’t want him eating just junk. Breakfast was the first challenge, and I wanted him to have a healthy, hearty, filling breakfast to tide him over until lunch at school.

One of the recipes I came up with was this recipe for Rice Cooker Steel Cut Oats. Steel cut oats are chewier and have a heartier texture than rolled oats or quick-cooking oats. Although steel cut oats are the least processed of all these oat varieties, there isn’t much difference nutritionally between them.

Although this recipe can be made on the stove, it requires quite a bit of stirring, so I decided to try making it in a rice cooker. Because of their chewier texture, steel cut oats should be soaked overnight before cooking. I simply soaked the steel cut oats right in the rice cooker bowl, then cooked the oats using the “porridge” setting on the rice cooker the next morning. The results? Perfectly cooked steel cut oats without any fuss. Serve with some milk, sweetener, and your favorite fruits (dried or fresh) and nuts or seeds.

Rice Cooker Steel Cut Oats


  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Toppings almond milk or other non-dairy milk maple syrup or honey dried fruit or fresh fruit toasted nuts or seeds


Place steel cut oats and water in a rice cooker bowl and let sit overnight.

Add cinnamon and cook on porridge setting, stirring after 25-30 minutes. Close lid and continue cooking until porridge cycle is complete.

Serve with desired toppings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *