How to Make Steel Cut Oats in the Instant Pot

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Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats are the creamiest, easiest way to make big-batch oatmeal with a few simple ingredients for a family-friendly, kid-approved breakfast.

pressure cooker steel cut oats with fresh blueberries in a white cereal bowl with a teal checkered napkin

Once I started making steel cut oats in an Instant Pot, I’ve never returned to the stovetop method. 

Pressure cooking is much faster and yields a creamier, smoother porridge. Plus, there’s no soaking or babysitting a pot on the stove!

We’ve updated this post with a step-by-step recipe pictures to make Instant Pot steel cut oats foolproof for your family. Scroll to the end for our favorite topping and flavoring ideas!

Pinterest image with a close-up image of steel cut oats topped with blueberries and granola

How to Cook Steel Cut Oats in An Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker 

This Steel Cut Oats recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL

Cooking Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats is quick and easy, with just three simple steps. 

  1. Toast your oats in butter using the Sauté function. (optional)
  2. Stir in the water and a pinch of salt, seal up the lid and set the cook time for 10 minutes at high pressure. Use a 10 minute natural pressure release, then remove the lid and give the oats a good stir. 
  3. Finally, top with your favorite sweeteners, mix-ins, and toppings. 
instant pot with dry steel cut oats being toasted in butter with a wooden stirring spoon
Step 1: Toast the oats. (You can skip this if you’re in a hurry.)

Steel Cut Oats vs. Rolled Oats

There are a few different types of oats you’ve probably noticed on supermarket shelves. The difference between each type is the amount that the whole kernel is processed. 

  • Quick-cooking oats are the most highly processed, with more of the whole grain removed. They’re also the fastest-cooking.
  • Rolled oats are, well, rolled flat. They take longer to cook than instant oats, but not quite as long as steel cut. 
  • Steel cut oats are processed by chopping the whole grain into small pieces, resulting in oats that look more like rice than flat oat flakes. They take longer to cook.

Steel cut oats have a chewier granular texture when cooked, where rolled oats tend to meld together into more of a mush. 

💡 Tip: You may also see steel cut oats labeled Irish Oats or Scottish Oats.

This recipe uses regular steel-cut oats. (If you have quick-cooking steel cut oats, then try a 2 minute cook time and a 10 minute natural pressure release.)

Instant pot with steel cut oats cooking in water
Step 2: Add the water and salt and give the pan a good stir to ensure the bottom of the pot is clear.

Why Toast the Oats in Butter?

We always toast our oats in the pressure cooker pot with a bit of melted butter or oil. This helps keep the oats from foaming up as they cook and adds more flavor to the oats. 

If you’d like, you can skip the toasting step to cut back on calories. However, to avoid foaming, I’d recommend letting the pressure release naturally all the way

You can use canola oil, coconut oil, or butter interchangeably for this recipe. 

creamy pressure cooker steel cut oats cooking inside an instant pot
See how much liquid remains after cooking? Give the oats a good stir and wait a few minutes and all of the liquid will be nicely incorporated.

Make-Ahead Steel Cut Oats

This is a great recipe for breakfast meal prep. You can make a big batch of steel cut oats in an Instant Pot and store refrigerated for 3 to 5 days in an airtight container. 

❄️ Steel cut oats also freeze well. I like to put individual portions in freezer-safe ziplock bags. 

You can enjoy the leftovers cold or warm up your oats in the pressure cooker using the pot-in-pot method. (Or, just microwave until heated through.)

pressure cooker oatmeal with blueberries in a white cereal bowl

Doubling the Recipe

You can easily make an even bigger batch of steel-cut oats by doubling or tripling the ingredients. The cook time will remain the same. 

The larger the batch, the more important it is to use butter or oil to help reduce the foaming. Be sure not to fill your pressure cooker more than halfway full.

instant pot steel cut oats in a cereal bowl with granola and fresh blueberries

Flavorings & Toppings for Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats

When it comes to flavoring and topping your Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats, the possibilities are pretty endless. 

Mix your favorite sweeteners and spices right into the cooking liquid before sealing up the pressure cooker lid. 

Some favorite flavoring ideas include:

  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice
  • Vanilla or almond extract
  • Maple syrup, honey, or molasses
  • Swap the water for almond milk or apple juice
white cereal owl filled with pressure cooker steel cut oats with blueberries

And after your oats are cooked comes the fun part of sweetening and topping your breakfast with crunch, color and flavor. Try:

  • Cocoa powder, a splash of cream, and fresh strawberries
  • Almond butter, sliced banana, and a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and chopped walnuts
  • Coconut flakes and sliced fruit
  • Our favorite homemade granola
  • Berry compote or fruit jam
white cereal owl filled with pressure cooker steel cut oats with blueberries

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Creamy Instant Pot steel cut oats are made with a bit of butter, water, and a dash of salt, plus any of your favorite toppings and sweeteners. 
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  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • Dash of salt
  • Fruit splash of cream, brown sugar, for serving


  • Select Sauté and melt the butter in the pressure cooking pot. Add the oats and toast for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until they smell nutty.*
  • Add the water and salt. Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 10 minute cook time.
  • When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops carefully remove the lid.
  • Stir the oats well. If you prefer thicker oats, allow them to sit for a few minutes until they reach your desired consistency.
  • Top with milk or cream, fresh or dried fruit, chopped nuts or granola, and your favorite sweetener—brown or white sugar, or maple syrup. 


Quick Cook Method: If you’re in a hurry, skip the sauté step and just add the oats and butter with the water and salt in step 2.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 74mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g

15 Amazing Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats Recipes

Now that you’re a pro at making perfectly tender and flavorful Instant Pot steel cut oats, try these other popular porridge recipes!


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