How to make oatmeal in the rice cooker

Note: I do this in my Zojirushi fuzzy logic rice cooker, so your experience may vary based on the cooker you use. Don’t blame me if your oats boil over!

As a kid, I hated oatmeal. Gloopy rolled, then boiled oats that stuck to the bottom of the pan and were just awful. Or even worse, the fake tasting flavored packets with “strawberries and cream” or “brown sugar and cinnamon” flavors. Ick.

Enter steel cut oats. After years of oatmeal hate, I was at a friends for brunch one morning and they had assembled an oatmeal bar for the health-minded contingent. A big pot of oatmeal in a rice cooker with nuts, fruit, cream, bacon, spring onions, and various sweeteners as toppers. I was sold.

After experimenting with ratios and timing for a few years, I’ve settled on the following recipe. I use the white rice measuring cup that came with the rice cooker for all measurements, including the water. It probably doesn’t matter, but since the rice cooker is a magical implement, I’m superstitious about it.

  • 3/4 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 4 measuring cups full of water

Before I go to bed, I chuck it all in the rice cooker, give it a good stir with the paddle, and set the machine to the porridge setting. (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. On the rice setting, this will boil over and out of the steam vent 100% of the time. It’s a huge enough mess that no one makes the mistake twice.) I set the timer for 2 hours before I want to eat and let it rip. It takes five minutes to make, and when paired with some chopped nuts, fresh (or dried) fruit, cinnamon or whatever you want, it’s a fast/simple/hearty breakfast. If you want to get really fancy, you can savory it up with a fried or poached egg, some scallions, and bacon too.

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