Toasted Oats Are the Secret to Making the Best Steel-Cut Oatmeal Ever

published May 3, 2010
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

I am a major steel-cut oatmeal fan. A bowl of it keeps me happy all morning long, with its chewy texture, creamy consistency, and nutty flavor. You might think that it can’t get much better than a splash of milk and spoonful of brown sugar over top, but here’s something else you have to try: toasted steel-cut oats.

Toasted oats aren’t some fancy new product for your shopping list — it’s something that you can do yourself! I first learned this technique of toasting raw oats in a little butter before cooking from Kim Boyce in her book Good to the Grain. I tried it the very next time I made oats and was amazed at the new depth of flavor, rich nuttiness, and subtle sweetness in my oatmeal. Talk about a terrific way to start the day! It only takes a few minutes and I now do it every time I make steel-cut oats.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

How to Toast Steel Cut Oats

It’s as simple as you might think it is: Melt a little butter in the saucepan you’re planning to use for your oatmeal and then add the raw oats. Toast them over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they turn a few shades darker and start to smell like popcorn, then add the water and continue with making your oatmeal as usual.

Easy, right? We toast rice before making pilaf and nuts before making cookies, so it makes sense that this same idea would work for something like steel-cut oats — and it totally does.

Ready to level-up your oatmeal game? Try toasting your oats tomorrow morning and see what you think!

5 Steel-Cut Oatmeal Recipes to Try