How To Make Steel-Cut Oatmeal in the Pressure Cooker

(Image credit: Maria Midoes)

Try as I might, the texture of overnight steel-cut oats never appealed to me. The pressure-cooker version, however, is right up my alley. Since I like my steel-cut oats soft and creamy, I’ve started making them in the pressure cooker. I get the texture I love with a cooking time that fits my schedule.

(Image credit: Maria Midoes)

Safety First

Before we talk about how to cook steel-cut oats in the pressure cooker, we need to talk about safety. Some pressure-cooker manuals state that you should not cook oats in the pressure cooker because the foam generated during cooking has the potential to clog the pressure release valve.

I was a little confused about this because the owner’s manual for my Instant Pot advises not to cook oats, yet their website includes a recipe for oats. So I reached out to Instant Pot for clarification and I was told that it was fine to cook steel-cut oats, as long as the oat-water mixture did not fill the pot more than halfway.

Since electric pressure cookers vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, be sure to check your owner’s manual before making oats in the pressure cooker first. You can always contact the manufacturer if you have any questions.

Selecting the Oats

There are two types of steel-cut oats at the market: traditional and quick-cooking. You want traditional steel-cut oats for this recipe. Quick-cooking oats turn to an unappetizing mush when cooked in the pressure cooker and are best prepared on the stovetop.

Say Yes to Greasing the Pot

Since I knew foam could be a problem when cooking oats in my pressure cooker, I decided to grease the cooking pot before adding the oats and water. I figured if oil prevented foam-style cakes, like angel food cakes, from climbing the sides of the pan, maybe it would keep the foam down in the pot. This extra step worked. Not only did it seem to keep the foam down, but it also made cleanup a snap. It’s a step I wouldn’t consider skipping.

Deciding on a Cook Time

Cook traditional steel-cut oats for least 10 minutes. I say at least 10 minutes because the cooking time depends on the texture you prefer. For chewy oats, 10 minutes works great. For a creamier bowl of oatmeal, try 13 minutes.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Releasing the Pressure

For safety reasons, a quick release is not recommended for steel-cut oats. When the cooking time has completed, allow the pressure cooker to cool and release pressure naturally, rather than releasing pressure by turning the “quick release” valve. To prevent the oats from scorching, turn off the machine when the cooking cycle completes. Don’t allow it to switch to the “keep warm” setting. The natural release process takes between 10 and 15 minutes. From there you can top your oats just how you like them.

63 Ratings

How To Make Steel-Cut Oatmeal in the Pressure Cooker

Makes1 to 5 servings


For 1 serving:

  • Cooking spray

  • 3/4 cup


  • 1/4 cup

    steel-cut oats (not instant)

For 5 servings:

  • Cooking spray

  • 3 3/4 cups


  • 1 1/4 cups

    steel-cut oats (not instant)


  • Electric pressure cooker

  • Measuring cups

  • Spoon


  1. Prepare the pot: Coat the pot of an electric pressure cooker with cooking spray. Wipe the top edge of the pot with a paper towel to remove any excess cooking spray.

  2. Pressure-cook: Add the water and oats to the pot and stir to combine. Close and lock the lid. For chewy oats, pressure-cook for 10 minutes on HIGH pressure. For creamier oats, pressure-cook for 13 minutes on HIGH pressure.

  3. Naturally release the pressure: When the cooking cycle completes, turn off the machine. To prevent scorching, don't let it switch to the "keep warm" setting. Allow the pot to cool down and release pressure naturally, about 10 minutes. Once the pressure has fully released, carefully open the lid away from you. (Consult your pressure cooker's manual to learn how to tell when it's safe to remove the lid.)

Recipe Notes

Storage: Transfer the cooked oats to a storage container and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Reheating: Scoop individual servings of cooked oats. Add 1 tablespoon of water or milk to the chilled oats. Reheat in either a small pot over medium-low heat or the microwave for about 2 minutes. Stir the oats before serving.

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