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

liquid ratio
per 1 cup (250ml)
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
1/3 cup oats &
2/3 cup liquid
2 cups (500ml)111HighNatural
Quick Oats
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

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

Similar Posts


  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!



  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.



      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.



  5. Just got a mini and you are my new hero. You have so many tips and everything all right here with the chart—-I just keep clicking around in your little world and it’s amazing. SOOOO glad I read your tips about oatmeal because I didn’t not think I saw we weren’t supposed to do it right in the pot anywhere as I (too quickly) scanned through my instructions!! I use apple stuff and the chart looks great on my iPad but doesn’t work at all on my phone. It may just be impossible to put that much info on such a small screen.

    PS I did garbanzos last night. I rinsed and sorted 1 cup dry grabs a few times with warm water, then poured a tea kettle of boiling on for a super quick quick soak just while I peeled a few garlics. Then I Instapotted with 5 cups water 50 min and natural release and rest for like 40 minutes while I was visiting my neighbors’ kittens. They were great. Could probably get away with 45 min, but I don’t know how much that long extra rest might affect things. Any ideas on that?

  6. So good! Worked brilliantly!
    So much less hassle and came out so good.
    Thought you couildnt do full milk in pressure cooker but thought Id google to see if there was a trick and found this. Had a bowl just before and it was great. Was able to cook it in the bowl I ate it from.
    Thank You!

    So if this works I should be able to do rice and milk aye?….gonna try that soon

    1. Absolutely, you can use this in-the-bowl method for doing milk and rice. Are you making a pudding or a porridge?



      P.S. Apologies for the late response I was in the hospital during the holidays. Everything’s OK, now. : )

  7. I just did this with rolled oats in my old Fissler stovetop pot and it worked really well!
    Thanks for this recipe.
    I will try it in my new 8 qt Instant Pot next, excited to have a method where I can’t accidentally burn the oatmeal!

  8. I hope you will reformat and re-write the table in this recipe. It’s impossible to read on a phone, and not much easier on a big screen. The table is also confusing, with too much information that makes it too hard to find the crucial information. People need to know three things:

    How much water to put in the pot (2 cups, I think)
    Ratio of oats/water in the bowl (the chart is unhelpful here)
    Timer setting for manual/pressure cooking (the chart is unhelpful here)
    Release method (natural)

  9. Hi Laura,

    You write “Prepare the pressure cooker with 2 cups (500ml) water in the base.” I’ve seen other posts where people have actually forgotten to insert the pot and poured ingredients into the base, which creates a disaster. Your method is what other instant pot users call “pot in pot”. That term might help to avoid any potential confusion.

    1. Nancy did you not read information above the chart. It says, Basic Pressure Cooker Oatmeal Preparation. It is more helpful, when you read above or below a chart/recipe. You get other tips and suggestions.

  10. I have a bag of oat groats in the cupbboard. If I soak them how long will I have to have them in my IPDuo 60? Do I have to soak them? Can I just pressure cook them for 22 min. As in chart.

  11. “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!”

    I do! Yay Instant Pot! But oats left in water (I prefer steel cut) will basically “cook” themselves, eventually. Do you change the cooking time? Or is 8 or 9 hours of soaking in cold water negligible?

    And thank you, Laura, for your site, your attention to detail, and precise methodology. It is so helpful to not have to figure this all out on my own.
    Mille Grazie!

  12. Hi Laura,
    In the table above the cooking time for rolled oats are 10 min, and for quick steel cut – 3 min.
    Is it correct , or should be vice versa ?
    Thank you

    1. It’s correct. I don’t know if you can see the whole table, but after the “Steel-cut Oats (quick)” for 3 minutes there is the regular “Steel-cut Oats” and that have a longer cooking time (18 minutes).

      I, personally, have not gotten rolled oats to pressure cook any faster. Though, all summer I’ve been eating uncooked rolled oats in my yogurt. Much less work if you don’t need to pressure cook them!! : )



  13. I soaked my steelcut oats for 24 hrs in yogurt water (2T yogurt) and cooked them for 10min. Perfect. No scorching, even tho I was in the insert itself and used dairy. It was enough diluted in the water. Soaking almost cuts the cook time in half!

    1. Thanks for sharing your method, Helene!!



  14. Thank you! Most recipes want the porridge in the pot. I didn’t want to do that. This recipe and technique turned out nicely. (I had a photo but don’t know how to add it).

  15. Hi
    Thank you for the table. unfortunately the ads cover the left side of the chart so unable to see it clearly on the ipad. Is there a way to fix that? Thanks

    1. Sorry, not the left but the right side of the chart (facing the screen that is)

  16. Great chart!

    However, on my Chrome Web Browser, ads generated cutoff the right side so the complaints above might relate to this, I can’t see much with a mobile device for certain, but even on my PC the ads cover the pressure selection & release section.
    Same on IE

Leave a Reply

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