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Pressure cooking oatmeal is convenient and hands-off.  The pressure will squeeze the creaminess right out of the cereal making a cozy and nutritious breakfast.  Here’s my technique for the perfect  bowl of pressure cooked oatmeal.

This is one of those pressure cooker techniques that does not take less time but is still more convenient for other reasons.  While microwaving oatmeal is quick, the gruel-like texture is not that appetizing – unless you want to open the microwave and stir every 30 seconds. Making oatmeal from scratch requires you to stand there and constantly stir the porridge until it’s ready and creamy.  If you’re not careful the oatmeal might burn, splatter or boil over.

Cooking oatmeal in the pressure cooker is totally hands-off – no burning, no boil-overs and no stirring to worry about.

But wait, there’s more!

If you have an electric pressure cooker with a timer or delay function  – you can set everything up the night before so breakfast can pressure cook itself in the morning!

Safely Pressure Cooking Oatmeal

I do not recommend pressure cooking oatmeal directly in the pressure cooker’s base for both safety and convenience reasons.

All pressure cooker manuals advise against pressure cooking oatmeal,  and that’s because cooking oatmeal directly in the base will cause the oatmeal to foam, splatter and clog the pressure release valves, which is a safety concern. Using a bowl cooks the oatmeal more delicately, in that it ensures that pressure builds in the cooker before the oatmeal itself is boiling.  This reduces foam and splatters because pressurized steam will actually be pushing down on the oatmeal preventing it from actively boiling (making bubbles that ultimately generate splatters and foam).

Another issue is that the amount of oatmeal you can pressure cook directly in the pressure cooker is dictated by your cooker’s minimum liquid requirement- making it impossible to make oatmeal for just 1. And even then, the only liquid you can use for the oatmeal is water because milk will scorch and burn  -you can use whatever, and however much, liquid you with the oatmeal-in-the-bowl method – as long as the contents of the bowl(s) do not go over the 1/2 full mark, of course. ; )

Basic Pressure Cooker Oatmeal Preparation

  1. Prepare the pressure cooker with 2 cups (500ml) water in the base.
  2. Add the steamer basket, or rack.
  3. Prepare a small heat-proof container, like cereal bowl or mug, with the correct ratio of oatmeal to liquid (see table, below).
  4. If your bowl, or steamer basket,  does not have handles make a small aluminum foil sling to easily lower and lift the bowl into the pressure cooker.
  5. Do not cover the bowl with foil.  Cook it uncovered.
  6. Pressure cook at high pressure according to oatmeal type (see table, below) – the cooking time is the same if you’re pressure cooking one bowl or six mugs.
  7. Open the pressure cooker with Natural Pressure Release  which can take anywhere from 7 to 15 minutes – seriously, don’t mess around. Wait for it .

 

Oatmeal Pressure Cooking Times & Liquid Ratios

TYPEsingle
serving
liquid ratio
per 1 cup (250ml)
ceral
IP MINI
/ELECTRIC
pressure
cooker
(9-10psi/70kpa)
INSTANTPOT
/ELECTRIC
pressure
cooker
(11-12psi/80kpa)
stovetop
pressure
cooker
(13-15psi/100kpa)
pressure
selection
opening
method
Irish Oats (see Oats, steel-cut)
Old Fashioned Oats (see Rolled Oats)
Oat Bran1/3 cup bran &
1 cup liquid
3 cups (750 ml)111HighNatural
Oat Groat1/3 cup groats &
1/3 cup liquid
1 cup (250 ml)222018HighNatural
Rolled Oats1/3 cup oats &
2/3 cup liquid
2 cups (500 ml)101010HighNatural
Steel-cut Oats (quick)1/4 cup oats &
3/4 cup liquid
3 cups (750 ml)333HighNatural
Steel-cut Oats1/4 cup oats &
3/4 cup liquid
3 cups (750 ml)181512HighNatural
Porridge Oats (see Quick Oats)
Quick Oats
(pudding-y)
1/3 cup oats &
2/3 cup liquid
2 cups (500ml)111HighNatural
Quick Oats
(creamy)
1/4 cup oats &
3/4 cup liquid
3 cups (750ml)111HighNatural
Scottish Oats (see Stone Ground Oats)
Stone-ground Oats1/4 cup oats &
3/4 cup liquid
3 cups (750 ml)753HighNatural
Whole Oat (see Oat Groat)

NOTE:Oats are a plant product and there will be variances in the age, drying, toasting and processing between brands. These above cooking times and ratios will work for most oatmeal brands. Should you experience unsatisfactory results, follow the ratio as given on the package of your oats, and use the same conventional cooking time at pressure.

Two Kinds of Steel-Cut Oats

Steel-cut oats
From left to right: Quick-cooking Steel-cut Oats, Steel-cut Oats

When this guide first launched a number of cooks were getting unsatisfactory results with steel-cut oats.  That’s because I had inadvertently only tested the time for the “quick-cooking” steel-cut oats which have a conventional cooking time of five minutes and not the plain steel-cut oats which usually take 30 minutes.  As you can see from the picture above, the difference between the grains is how finely they were “cut.”  I finally got my hands on both kinds and have updated the cooking times accordingly.

Pressure Cooker Oatmeal Tips

  • Replace the liquid to hydrate the oatmeal with: milk, soy milk, rice milk, 50% coconut milk 50% water, fruit juice, bone broth or water.
  • Add a small pinch of salt to accentuate the flavor (don’t worry, it won’t taste “salty”).
  • Add a drop of butter or oil to encourage the oatmeal to release the fat-soluble vitamins (like Vitamin E)1 – this is optional.
  • If your electric pressure cooker has a delay or timer function, you can set-up the pressure cooker the evening before to start pressure cooking your breakfast before you wake up. Program the cooker to start cooking your oatmeal about 30 minutes before breakfast. Make a test bowl first, to make sure that the ratios and cooking times work for your particular brand of oatmeal.
  • Add any sweeteners after pressure cooking – to use less and taste more of them.

Pressure Cooker Oatmeal Recipes

Please leave comment to share your favorite oatmeal recipes and photos!

pressure cooker oatmeal primer

Reference
1. Tremblay, Sylvie, MSc. “What Are the Vitamin Components of Oatmeal?” Healthy Eating. SFGATE. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.

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239 Comments

  1. Has anyone ever cooked “Cracked Oats” in the instant pot, they are a little different that groats. If you Google “Coach’s Cracked Oats” you will see what I mean. Cracked oats are so so delicious!! I am still trying to learn how to cooked them in the instant pot.

    1. Cracked oats are known as steel cut oats. Look at the chart for those times.

      1. I finally got it figured out. Cracked oats or actually Groats that have been cracked.

  2. Really helpful…thanx!

  3. I couldn’t even find rolled oats on this page. Had to select all and then it appeared. I am using Sunset Screen to protect against blue light from the monitor. It would be helpful if text was not colored the shade that doesn’t get along with Sunset Screen. I do have a question. One of your columns refers to liquid ratio per cup. How does this fit in with how to cook the oatmeal?

    1. The ratio tells you how much water to add per cup so you can adjust the quantities to what you prefer. This does not affect the cooking time.

      I see the link colors on the table are orange to match our carrot logo and that might be an issue with you seeing them. I’ll take a look to see if there is another color we can make them that are still easy to read but in keeping with this website’s style.

      Thanks for letting me know!

      Ciao,

      L

  4. This is SO helpful! However the chart is not optimized for mobile, at least in my device. It gets stretched out to odd proportions and then frozen. However the method of cooking is foolproof!!

    1. Mitchy, if you get a chance can you send me a screenshot and let me know what your device is? I’ll pass the info on to the developer. Just reply to the address in the comment alert.

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Hi Laura,

        For some reason, the oatmeal to liquid ratio chart is not displaying on my web browser. Strangely, it was displaying correctly about a week ago. I’ve tried it with both Safari and Chrome.

        1. Check that after the last slash “/” in the address of the website there are no other characters. For some reason, the tables on this site break this way.

          Ciao,

          L

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