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Friday, January 22

Steel Cut Oats – Quickly & Deliciously Done

Just want to share my latest oatmeal find. Trader Joe’s has Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats that are awesome. They cook as quickly as rolled oats (5-7 minutes) and taste great.

steel cut oats2 web

We’re always hearing about how steel cut oats are great, but apparently they take a long time to cook (I honestly haven’t even tried). If you have a Trader Joe’s, you’re all set!

steel cut oats1 web

If you have any steel cut oat advice or know of similar products to TJ’s Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats, please share!


  1. steel cut oats are one of my favorite, but they take so long! I’ll have to check TJ’s quick cook out!

  2. Hi Jane, the Irish steel cut oatmeal is really good but you have to simmer it for 30+ minutes and stir frequently. A friend of mine told me that if you boil steel cut oats in water the night before, turn off the heat and leave them covered on the stove, they will be done perfectly in the morning and all you have to do is heat them in the microwave. I haven’t tried this yet but it sure sounds better than slaving over the stove for 30+ minutes!

  3. Mmm. I love steel cut oats. I do cook mine for about 30 minutes, but I just make a big batch and then microwave the rest of the week. I love craisens and pecans or peaches and milk in mine!

  4. I make a recipe that is overnight steel cut oats and it only takes 5 minutes or so to cook in the morning. Cherry and Tangerine Steel Cut Oatmeal SO YUMMY! I love how textured steel cut outs are compared to regular oatmeal.

  5. I think I probably do the same thing as Katie mentioned above. I soak 1/2 cup of steel cut oats overnight in water in the fridge. Then in the morning, I drain the water and cover them in a pot with milk. I bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes and they’re done! I usually put blueberries and brown sugar or maple syrup in mine.

  6. 6

    Thanks Jane, I try to do what bonggamon suggests — but you have to remember the night before! I will try TJ’s.

  7. 7

    I used to use a slow cooker to cook mine. I think I may have picked that up from an Alton Brown episode. I haven’t made them in a while though, may have to pick up some on the way home.

  8. 8

    Does anyone know if you make a large batch, how long it will keep in the refrigerator? I eat oatmeal almost every morning. I add to mine chopped MacIntosh apple, a handful of walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg and a few pkgs of equal – yummy!

  9. we love coach’s oats around here. whole grain and they cook up in 4 minutes in the microwave. I buy my bags at costco and it’s delicious!

  10. Kim-There are various sites that recommend cooking your steel cut oats in the slow cooker overnight-they reheat well and will last all week!

  11. I work with a non profit organization that teaches low income families to cook healthy meals, including breakfasts with steal cut oats. We give each family rice cookers, least expensive brands sell for around $14, and I think this is the easiest way to prepare this awesome grain. Here is one of the recipes we use-strawberry, banana, breakfast, split

    Affordable and healthy!

  12. 12

    Here’s my question (and I’m quite aware that it probably is a silly question)….when you cook TJ’s quick steel cut oats in the microwave, how do you stop it from overflowing? Am 1) cooking it wrong or 2)need a big mixing bowl to cook them?

    • Jack

      I use microwave, bowl is a bit deeper…. 1 minute I do it on high and then continue with low … stir twice …

  13. 13

    I love the idea of prepping it the night before. I’ll have to try that! I’ve never tried making it in my slow cooker or rice cooker, but I may try those ideas too. I like oatmeal with a little non-fat milk, a tablespoon of natural peanut butter, and a couple drops of honey. I have that for breakfast before I run or workout.

  14. 14
    Jane Maynard

    loving all these tips you guys are sharing! so great!

    annie – I think oatmeal is prone to growing when you cook it in the microwave, no matter what kind. I would probably just use a bigger bowl…and sometimes I’ll stop the microwave to get it to shrink a bit, then start the microwave again. not super helpful, but you’re not doing anything wrong! 🙂

  15. 15

    We make this many Sunday mornings, and I’ll make an extra large batch to keep in the fridge. Then we just warm it up and add some milk.

  16. 16

    Yep, had the same problem. I bought some of the TJ’s quick cook and was annoyed that I had to clean the microwave plate TWICE because they overflowed! I even lowered the power the second time. I ended up being successful using the stove method with the quick cook and they came out (and tasted) fine. I, too, often cook a large batch of regular steel cut oats on the weekend then reheat it for a few days and this seems simpler since I’ll have to wash a pot every day with the other method!

  17. 17
    Jane Maynard

    you are all inspiring me to cook a bunch at the start of the week – such a great idea!

  18. 18

    So bummed we don’t have any Trader Joe’s where I live. Cooking Light has a good recipe in this month’s issue that has you combine steel cut oats and some pearl barley with water the night before and microwave it the next morning. Very easy, quick and tasty too.

  19. 19

    Just wanted to let you know, I shared your blog on my latest blog post. I love your blog and will continue to follow and share my ideas when I can.

  20. 20

    I do exactly what bonggamom says. While I am tidying up the kitchen on Sunday night, I boil 8 cups of water. When it gets to a rapid boil, I dump 2 cups of steel cut oats in and let it boil for about 5 minutes (watch it because it does get foamy and can boil over). Then I turn off the flame, put a lid on the pot and forget about it. Next morning I have steel cut oats to enjoy for the entire week. This amount feeds myself, my 4 year old son and my husband all week. We add various things to it like blueberries, cinammon, fruit, etc.

  21. 21

    I meant to add that this cooked batch keeps really well for the entire week in the fridge. We usually finish it up on Friday.

  22. I seriously eat these every week day — love that you’re featuring them! I take them to work and for $.80 each, they can’t be beat from a price OR nutrition standpoint. I also add a bag of Brothers-All-Natural fruit crisps from Costco (Fuji apple or Asian pear) and they mix in perfectly. TJ’s also has quick-cooking steel cut oats that we eat on the weekends. I don’t think they’re quiet as tasty, though (they’re slightly toasted and chopped up a bit, which makes they cook quickly.

  23. I went back and read this again … realized you are talking about the canister. D’oh! I eat their frozen steel cut oats every weekday at work (three minutes in the microwave), but we do eat the ones you’re talking about on the weekends. I still like the frozen ones better, though. 🙂

  24. 24

    These are all excellent ideas for my most favorite breakfast food! I love to pair the steel cut oats with honey and walnuts and a splash of skim milk. Tastes soooo good! I haven’t seen the quick cooking variety here in Boise. I just buy them in the bulk section – 53 cents a pound – yeah! It takes me about 25 minutes to cook them and I do it while I’m getting ready for school. I even add flaxseed powder to them AFTER they are finished cooking. So good for you!

  25. I think we’ve been eating ours undercooked, because I buy them but don’t let them sit long, as usually our kids are waiting to eat :).

  26. 26

    i ate some this morning for the first time. i soaked them overnight and heated them for 15 minutes (too long though) this morning and they were great, though smelled a little burnt. I will cook them overnight tonight for a tasty treat in the morning.

  27. 27

    Yummy & healthy eating! I recently read the following suggestion, “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”. To my steel cut oats I add blueberries, ground cinnamon, 1 TBSP. flaxseed meal & a little skim milk or light vanilla soy.

  28. 28

    I cook mine overnight on warm on the oven. I prefer milk but you can use water. Just add ingred. to saucepan, add whatever flavorings you like; brown sugar, maple syrup, etc. Cover and set oven to warm before going to bed. When you wake in the morning the oatmeal is ready and perfectly cooked.

  29. 29

    The easiest way is just soak overnight. Put 1 cup of oats in a pot. Add 2 cups of water. Let it just sit out. I guess you could cover the pot if you’re worried about dust. The next morning add 1 cup of water and boil until done (5 minutes).

    The slow cooker way makes the best oats. I can never get the timing right though to do this very often.

  30. As one who has been eating oats for the better part of 67 years, I am always amused at yuppies who like to throw around the terminology ‘steel cut’, after visiting the supreme ‘Yuppy Land purveyor — Trader Joes.’

    Perhaps you, Ms. Jane Maynard, would care to explain to us ignorant elders what EXACTLY does ‘steel-cut’ mean, and how EXACTLY is that type of oats ‘BETTER’ than stone ground, hand ground, machine ground, machete cut, or any other method of chopping oats into an edible cereal.

    I mean, we ignorant Ph.D. types (who never arrived at the level of ‘Yuppiedom’) really want to know.


    Ph.D., Ed.D, and perfectly happy with Quaker Oats

  31. 31
    Jane Maynard


    Sorry that I obviously struck a wrong chord with you. I didn’t make any health claims regarding steel cut versus other types of oats. I did mention that “you hear that steel cut oats are better for you” – but I personally didn’t make a claim either way, although I can see how it was implied. I have amended the post to avoid any confusion. And since the post is not in fact about nutritional value but rather finding a nice brand that I like (and also seeking tips for cooking traditional steel cut), I’m just taking the issue off the table altogether.

    From what I understand, both types of oats contain the whole grain and are quite close in nutritional value – they are just cut differently. From what I’ve read, steel cut have a smidge lower glycemic index, but since both rolled and steel cut have low glycemic index, it’s not a big deal. Quick oats have been steamed ahead of time and are more processed, but again not a significant impact on the health factor. Plus, this quick-cook variety of steel cut have probably been steamed as well, so health-wise they are most likely identical.

    That said…all oatmeal tastes good to me and I have both Trader Joe’s Quick Cook Steel Cut AND Quaker Rolled Oats sitting in my cabinet (in fact, rolled are way better in cookies!). In my effort to buy less processed foods, I do not buy instant oatmeal packets or cups…I stick with the straight-up oats.

    In the end it’s just a matter of taste. The two types have a different texture and some people like one over the other. I like both. And I like this quick cook variety of steel cut and thought I’d share my findings.

  32. 32

    Dear DocChuck

    Your rudeness is showing. Give Jane a break! From a 64 year old who has been eating oatmeal all my life.


    An Englishman and a Scotsman were discussing oats. The Englishman, with his nose in the air said “In England we feed oats to our horses, and in Scotland you feed oats to your men…”, to which the Scotsman replied “…that’s why in England you have such fine horses and in Scotland we have such fine men!”

    Did you say you were an Englishman? Thankfully I have Scottish blood.

    End of discussion.

  33. Just found your blog and happy to find a fellow oat lover! Also happy to see that I am not the only one who finds that if you put yourself out there in a positive and friendly way, others don’t always offer the same respect (yikes DocChuc… release the anger! It’s just oatmeal.)

    Anyway, I have just discovered steel cut and prefer them. It is different than Quaker oats in that the groat is not flattened so it is closer to the original whole grain. It has a different texture and mouthfeel and I think, nuttier flavor.

    I have been adding mine to boiling water at night, covering and letting it stand out all night and then cooking briefly in the morning. Try a touch of molasses and toasted walnuts and raisins. Yum

    Finally, I continue to be so amused by the previous comment that I might add that if being a yuppie means that I seek out new and healthy foods and shop at stores where natural, less processed foods are available at reasonable prices then I will proudly accept the label.

  34. NAY! I say, former fatguy.

    My wife (Doctor Elizabeth) is 100% (read that — ONE HUNDRED PERCENT) Scottish, is a Ph.D. (from Johns Hopkins University), and is FAR from being a ‘yuppie’.

    She will be the FIRST to tell you that ‘steel-cut-oats’ is a marketing term used to suck in the ‘foodies’ and the ‘Trader Joe’s’ aficionados.

    She will tell you that the term is completely BOGUS as far as determining the nutritional value, the taste, or any other aspect of the oat.

    BUT, she does not have the time to ‘blog’, so I (a retired professor) deliver her remarks as she relates them to me.

    Carry on, please.

  35. 35

    Hmmm DocChuck. You might read this article from The George Mateljan Foundation regarding nutrition in various types of oatmeal.

    “Steel-cut oats are the same as oat groats, except for being chopped with

    steel blades.” That means there is less processing. Many people today look for foods that are less processed because they are better for our health. The food industry has overwhelmed our young folks with so much processed food that they are overweight and developing adult diseases. I applaud anyone who looks for minimally or unprocessed food.

    The bottom line here is that Jane is simply giving a shout out for the type of oatmeal she prefers. She made no nutritional claims. She just said “They cook as quickly as rolled oats (5-7 minutes) and taste great.”

    BTW yuppies was used in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. It’s an outdated term.

  36. 36

    Hi Jane! I bought a few containers of the quick-cook steel cut oats at TJ’s a few days ago. Made my first bowl this morning. For those of you who try and make this in the microwave, I have a few hints. Use a deep plastic bowl if you are making one serving. I used a 4-cup capacity and did not get any boil over. I cooked it for 3 mins., stirred it a bit, then cooked an additional 2 mins. They came out very nice! I still plan on trying the slow cooker to make up a large batch. This sure has become a lively discussion! Thanks for all the hints!

  37. 37
    Jane Maynard

    thanks for the tips, kim! 🙂

  38. 38

    I haven’t read all the comments, so I’m not sure if this has been mentioned yet….

    But you can get steel cut oats in the bulk foods section at Whole Foods for much cheaper than you’ll find it packaged….I just paid $1.39 for a pound.

    Also, our favorite way to eat steel cut oats is as muesli. Just soak it overnight and eat with some fruit and chopped nuts. Here’s my recipe:
    But you really can change it up and use just about any kind of juice and fruits. I enjoy it much more than cooked steel-cut oats.

  39. I apologize for my husband’s rude behavior. Financial setbacks have meant we are on a tight budget now and oatmeal is often a main dish in our house. We used to enjoy
    Trader Joes Irish/Scottish-style steel cut oats and preferred them for their toothy texture and nutty taste. Sadly, we cannot afford them anymore and that’s a sore spot these days with him, I guess. Cheers, Liz.

  40. 40

    I have probably eaten 25 bags of coach’s oats in the past couple of years. Tried the rolled (too pasty),tried the cut good, but an extra pain to prepare. Coach’s oats with a scoop of cold milled flax and honey added after. A great chewy healthy start.

  41. 41

    KeepItRealDoc wrote:
    Charles Richard Treuter is one of the saddest and most pitiful excuses for human existence – almost on the same level of sad and pitiful as his HERO the chief B HO(le) of liberalism’s bholes/the BO stench of liberalism’s stinking armpits and other orifices. There is an entire blog website dedicated to exposing this sociopathic pathological liar. Look at DocChuck’s MySpace profile for a deep belly laugh. None of his claims to fame and fortune and academic superiority has as much credibility as a quack snake-oil salesman (come to think of it his lack of credibility is so serious that I’d stand in line for several hours to buy the quack’s snake-oil by comparison).

    For the truth about Charles Treuter/Charles R Treuter/Charles Richard Treuter/DocChuck and 50+ handles (according to one Charles Richard Treuter’s emails to his brothers, Kenneth W. Treuter and Douglas V. Treuter, [add his brothers’ names to Charles’ handles inasmuch as he is now ILLEGALLY using their names to post his bullshit, racism, perversions and outrageous and outlandish lies]) make your way to a very thorough and thoughtful exposé of this vile and potentially DANGEROUS troll and wasted human existence:

  42. 42


    Apparently the Weird “DocChuck”/Charles Richard Treuter Epic is spinning toward a swift conclusion. Can anyone say, “It’s gonna crash and burn, baby!?”

  43. 43

    “DocChuck”/Charles Richard Treuter crosses the line of decency, morality, patriotism, and LAW (the Federal Stolen Valor Act of 2007). Read about the sordid facts at:


  44. 44

    I tried the overnight fridge method, but it didn’t work. I think my problem is that I boiled the oats in water first and then put them in the fridge. I had oats at the bottom and lots of water on top. Even after cooking they were barely edible.

    I take it that you’re supposed to put the 1/2 cup of oats into 1 cup of cold water and place directly into the refrigerator.

    • Jane Maynard

      I haven’t the foggiest! 🙂 please take a look at the various comments and let me know who might have an answer…I can email them and we can figure this out! 🙂

  45. 45

    I cups of steel cut oats to 1 liter of water. bring to boil and reduce heat. Total cook time from boil start to finish is 20 minutes. I like the oats to be a little nuttier. If you like them mushier cook an additional 10 minutes. The oats will get quite think and require constant stirring. This way you have room for milk. Also the thickness makes it easier to distribute into my silicone muffin thingy. After cooling down I put the muffin thingy in the fridge until they set up like a hockey puck. Then you can put them in a bag then fridge if it’s only a weeks worth. If you make more then put them in a good quality freezer and freeze. If you freeze them it adds an extra step of thawing in the morning.

    After you thaw or pull out of fridge chop up the puck and add milk to desired amount an cook for approximately 3 1/2 minutes. You know its ready when the milk starts foaming up the bowl. I then add craisins. YUM

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