Pressure Cooker Steel-cut Oats
According to Prevention Magazine, steel-cut oats have a slightly lower glycemic index and fewer calories than rolled oats1. There is some debate about the significance of this difference2, especially because the other ingredients used to complete the oatmeal will likely have a stronger impact on the overall nutritional value of the dish than the type of oatmeal being used to make it.

Ultimately, replacing white toast and jam, sugary cereal or cookies with any kind of oatmeal will add more fiber, protein and iron to your diet – and keep you feeling full long enough to avoid eating a mid-morning snack before lunch.

When pressure cooking oatmeal, I add the maple syrup at the end. I’ve found that if I add it before pressure cooking the sweetness of it decreases. All of the maple syrup is still there but it will be evenly distributed both inside and outside of the cereal – making it less noticeable in the mouth.  I’ve tried sweetening oatmeal before pressure cooking with sugar, honey and jam and this happens with those sweeteners, too.  To get the most impact from a sweetener: add it after pressure cooking.

Alter or adorn this recipe to taste and how awake and creative you happen to be.  The water can be replaced with nut or cow milk (but this cannot sit out overnight if you’re going to program your electric pressure cooker before going to bed), the butter can be replaced with oil or left out entirely. Replace the steel-cut oats with your favorite oat cereal by adjusting the liquid according to the pressure cooker oatmeal table.

I like to keep it simple because if you’re incoherent and in a hurry – you’re not going to have time to put together a 10-ingredient oatmeal (I have seen this in a cookbook)! So keep your first oatmeals simple and easy so you’re more likely to make and eat them!

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
3 L or larger steamer basket, heat-proof bowl(s) 3 min. High(2) Natural

4.5 from 4 reviews
Maple Syrup Steel-cut Oats - pressure cooker recipe
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: 1 serving
  • Serving size: 1
  • Calories: 240
  • TOTAL Fat: 8.3g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 40.5g
  • Sugar Carbs: 13.5g
  • Sodium: 75.8 mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 4g
  • Protein: 6.1g
  • Cholesterol: 15.5mg
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
If using an electric pressure cooker, this recipe can be prepared the night before and the timer set on the pressure cooker to begin cooking before wake-up time. If using conventional steel-cut oats increase the pressure cooking time to 15 minutes for electric and 12 minutes for stovetop.
  • ¼ cup (40 g) quick-cooking steel-cut oats
  • ¾ cup (170 g) water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon 100% maple syrup
  1. Prepare the pressure cooker with 2 cups of water and the steamer basket.
  2. In a small heat-proof bowl or mug, add the oats, water, salt and butter.
  3. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  4. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 3 minutes at high pressure.
    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 3 minutes pressure cooking time.
  5. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Natural release method - move the cooker off the burner and wait for the pressure to come down on its own (about 5 minutes). For electric pressure cookers, disengage the “keep warm” mode or unplug the cooker and open when the pressure indicator has gone down (7 to 15 minutes).
  6. Vigorously mix the contents of the bowl, pour on maple syrup and serve.

Pressure Cooker Oatmeal - Steel-cut Oats



1. Oklander, Mandy “What’s Healthier: Steel Cut Oats or Rolled Oats?” Prevention. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.

2. Neily, Jennifer “Why I don’t like steel cut oats” Neily on Nutrition. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.

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  1. I also do this for hot oat bran and quinoa cereal. I have the duo set and I love it.

    Thanks for all your hard work =))


  2. Laura, I think it’s really important to point out that the Prevention article is flawed in that it is using volume to compare steel cut oats to rolled oats. According to, 1/4 cup of Quaker rolled oats weighs 0.7 ounces whereas 1/4 cup of Quaker steel cut oats weighs 1.4 ounces. Ounce for ounce, however, the nutrition is virtually the same.

    1. Sleeloo, thanks for the details! Glad to know that it does not really change the profile. Ideally, they should have compared by “serving” which would have been 1/3 cup rolled oats and 1/4 steel-cut oats.



  3. I am anxious to try this, as I love steel-cut oats. I will try it as you have written the recipe, but will also try it as a modification of the Cook’s Illustrated method. That recipe calls for toasting the oats in melted butter in a skillet for several minutes until fragrant and nutty, before adding to the liquid (3/4 water, 1/4 whole milk in their version). I would think that another advantage of the pressure cooker method is that there is no stirring (as required on the stovetop), so the oats are not broken up into mush. The Scots use a “spurtle” — similar to the handle of a wooden spoon — to stir cooking oats on the stovetop and avoid such breakups.

  4. This might be a dumb question, but I too wanted to try the method in StuartR’s comment. Is there any reason we couldn’t saute a larger portion and cook as directed?

    1. D56alpine and StuartR, toasting the oatmeal first is a great idea. Just be sure to put the oatmeal in the bowl before pressure cooking. I do not recommend pressure cooking oatmeal directly in the pressure cooker base. Details here:



  5. I’ve made this a few times, each one has cooked differently. The first time I quadrupled the recipe and cooked straight in the pot, and it came out amazing. Second time also quadrupled and in the pot, but it wasn’t fully cooked when the pressure was released- I put it back up to pressure up for another few minutes, which cooked it, but burned on the bottom. The third time was doubled, but in a bowl on a trivet. Didn’t cook at all following the directions- put it back up to pressure for another few minutes, but still not cooked. :-/ why so inconsistent? Suggestions? I LOVED them the first time I had them, and can’t seem to replicate them. :-(

  6. Help me Obiwan!
    I’ve done this recipe twice now, both times with the same results. After 3 minutes & natural release, I take the lid off of my IP and find a bowl of beige water with melted butter on top. The oats are only barely soft and certainly not what anyone would call “cooked.”
    What am I doing wrong?

    1. I think she is using quick cook steel cut oats. Other recipes I’ve looked at say try 12, 15, or even 20 minutes. I would try that :)

  7. I’m not sure that different cooking times aren’t a result of the freshness of the oats. I cooked mine for 5 minutes, and they were harder than I like. I like them chewy, but not harder than al dente pasta, and a little dry, not gluey. I like some bite, not mush or paste, which is what quick-oats taste like to me now.
    After I cooked them for 2 more minutes, they were perfect. I’m writing down the 1/2 ratio, 7 minutes at high, and definitely in a bowl ready to eat when done. Damn, that’s good with Zoi honey Greek yogurt. And it lasts for hours for energy. I used coconut oil instead of butter, and a little ginger and cinnamon, and golden raisins. I never get tired of it, because of all the ways it can be dressed up.

  8. I like the recipe for the idea of doing Steel cut oats in a separate container inside the pressure cooker. Now I can make oats with milk and not have it scotch the bottom! HOWEVER, I really don’t think 3 minutes is enough time for regular (Not instant) steel cut oats. I did it with 4 servings and got crunchy oats and milky soup. We did it the next time and used 10 Minutes on HighPressure with a 10 minute natural release and they came out very nice.

    1. You made 4 servings in 4 individual containers, such as mugs, as recommended in the recipe?



  9. Laura- it’s not realistic for our family to make one serving. Does this recipe work if you do four servings in one bowl?

    1. You can do four individual servings in four mugs, as shown in the article.



  10. What keeps the oatmeal from overflowing as it cooks? My steel cut oats foam so much.

    1. Using Natural Release keeps the foam down above all else.



  11. We updated the pressure cooking time for NON quick-cooking steel-cut oats to 15 minutes. Apologies for not testing this properly in the recipe, sooner!



  12. Love this recipe. I’ve made it a dozen times now and it’s the only oatmeal my husband actually likes besides the instant packages of flavored oatmeal.

  13. I liked the ingredients in the recipe. I threw everything in at the beginning and the maple syrup seemed to meld with the rest of the ingredients in the cooker. I cooked mine on high for 16 minutes and used the natural release on my electric cooker. I also used 1/2 tsp half and half to finish it off along with cinnamon.

  14. I have a general question about cooking grains in a bowl inside the IP: How do you know the bowl or mug is safe to use that way? Can I assume if it is okay in the microwave, it will be okay in the IP too? Or what? Thank you!

    1. Millie, if the container is heat-safe for oven use, it can be used in the pressure cooker. Polycarbonate and plastic that can be microwaved are NOT heat-safe for the pressure cooker.

      Here’s a quick run-down of the containers that can be used..



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