We bring the water to a boil and then stir in the steel-cut oats along with a healthy pinch of salt (this sounds strange, but it brings out the nutty flavor in the oats). We let the water and oats come back to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium-low.
We simmer the oats, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes, depending on how cooked or chewy we want our oats that day. Give it a stir every few minutes to make sure the bottom isn't burning. If a skin forms on top of the oatmeal, we just stir it back into the oats and keep cooking. We start tasting spoonfuls after the 20 minute mark and take it off the heat when we like what we taste.
Personally, we like to leave the oatmeal plain and let each person add whatever extras they like. We sweeten our bowl with a spoonful of honey or maple syrup and stir in a splash of milk for creaminess. We also like both fresh fruit and dried fruit, as well as a sprinkling of crunchy toasted nuts! A pinch of cinnamon finishes it off quite nicely.
Leftover oatmeal can also be refrigerated for up to a week, so it's nice to make a big batch on the weekend to have for breakfast all week long. It will firm up and gelatinize in the fridge, but then soften again in the microwave. We heat it for a minute on high, then stir in some milk and other toppings before heating it another minute.
What's your method for steel-cut oats?
Perfect Steel-Cut Oats
serves 2-4, depending on how hungry you are!
3 cups water
1 cup steel-cut oats
pinch of salt
Bring the water to a boil and stir in the oats and salt. Let the water and oats come back to a boil then reduce to medium-low heat.
Let the oats simmer with the lid slightly ajar, stirring frequently until cooked through - 20 minutes for chewy oats or 30 minutes for softer oats.
Stir in extras like milk, sweeteners, nuts, and fruit off the heat in individual bowls. Leftovers keep for one week.