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Wondering how to cook steel cut oats in the Instant Pot? The pressure cooker will make your mornings easier because you can press a button and walk away while your breakfast cooks to perfection.

Two bowls of oatmeal topped with fruit next to an Instant Pot.

Why use the Instant Pot? Instead of waiting for a pot of water to come to a boil on the stovetop, and then watching it to make sure the oats don’t burn to the bottom of the pan, you can get more accomplished around the house while your oats cook with this hands-off method.

It will make your mornings feel productive, plus you’ll get to enjoy a hearty bowl of oats when you’re done!

Make a large batch as part of your meal prep routine this week, or serve this steel-cut oats recipe as an easy weekend brunch for your family with various toppings. Everyone loves an oatmeal bar where they can customize their bowls.

Ingredients You’ll Need

You’ll need 2 1/2 cups of water for every 1 cup of steel cut oats when you cook them in the Instant Pot. Feel free to add a pinch of salt or a dash of cinnamon when you cook these, too!

It’s best to leave sweeteners and milk for AFTER the oats are done cooking, however. Dairy milk can trigger a burn error during the cooking process, and that will interrupt your easy morning. 

No one wants to scrape a burnt crust off the bottom of their pots, so don’t use milk for cooking. 

steel cut oats and water in measuring cups on a marble surface.

Detoxinista Tip

Almond milk and other non-dairy milk options are mostly made of water, so if you’re determined to use a different liquid for cooking, you can replace 1 cup of water with 1 cup of your favorite non-dairy milk. If you’d like to add dairy milk, save it for AFTER the oats have cooked to loosen the texture and add creaminess. 

How to Cook Steel Cut Oats in the Instant Pot

In the bottom of a 6-quart Instant Pot, add 2 cups of steel-cut oats and 5 cups of water. You can also add a pinch of salt or a splash of vanilla extract if you’d like. 

Secure the lid on your pressure cooker and move the steam release valve to the “Sealing” position. 

Use the Manual or Pressure Cook button on your machine to cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. It will take roughly 10 minutes for the pot to pressurize, so the machine will read ON until then. 

water added to steel cut oats and the lid showing that the pot is pressurized.

Once the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for at least 15 minutes. This means you don’t have to touch the Instant Pot until the screen reads L0:15. 

It’s okay if you let it sit longer, too.

(The Instant Pot is fantastic for distracted or busy cooks.)

The floating valve in the lid should drop when your natural pressure release is done. If it hasn’t, move the steam release valve to the “Venting” position to ensure all of the pressure is released from the pot.

Safety Tip

Oats tend to create foam and starchy water as they cook, so never perform a quick release after cooking them. Hot starchy water could shoot out of the valve if the pot still contains a lot of pressure, so that’s why the natural release is important. Plus, it gives the oats a chance to finish cooking without burning to the bottom of your pot.

Instant pot showing that it has naturally released for 15 minutes.

Once the floating valve in the lid has dropped, it’s safe to remove the lid. You may see some water sitting on top of the cooked oats, but once you give it a stir the water will incorporate with the oats and give them a creamy texture. 

As the oats cool, they will thicken up slightly. Loosen the texture by adding a splash of almond milk or water. This will help them cool down faster for eating, too! 

steel cut oats after cooking in the Instant pot and stirred with a spoon.

Serve these Instant Pot steel-cut oats warm with your favorite toppings.

Drizzle them with peanut butter, almond butter, or any other nut butter you love. Add a little maple syrup or honey for sweetness, or top with fresh fruit like sliced banana, strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries.

You can add chia seeds, pecans, or walnuts for crunch, or stir in some ground flax seeds to make your breakfast more filling. If you want to add a pinch of ground cinnamon, flaked coconut, or chocolate chips, the topping ideas are endless!

Storage Tip

Cooked steel-cut oats can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. They make an easy gluten-free breakfast idea that you can enjoy warm or cold.

Oatmeal tends to firm up when chilled, so you may need to add an extra splash of milk to them in the morning to help loosen the texture again. They can be quickly reheated in the microwave or a small saucepan on the stovetop.

plain steel cut oats served in two white bowls with a spoon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cook steel cut oats in an 8-quart Instant Pot?

Yes, but since the pot is larger you can cook this amount of oats and water for 3 minutes instead of 4. The pot will take longer to pressurize and de-pressurize in this case, so the oats should finish cooking when the natural release is complete.

Can I use a 3-quart Instant Pot?

Yes, but since you never want to fill an Instant Pot more than halfway full with starchy water, be sure to cut this recipe in half for the smaller-sized machine.

Are steel cut oats better than rolled oatmeal?

Steel-cut oats are less processed than rolled oats, which is why they take longer to cook. To make steel-cut oats, the oat groat is sliced with a steel blade to create more of a chopped, rice-like grain that is chewier in texture and requires a longer cooking time.

They are also thought to be slower to digest, so the may have a lower glycemic index compared to quicker cooking oats.

Looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Try juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breasts, Instant Pot Quinoa, or Instant Pot Lentil Soup for more ideas.

two white bowls filled with instant pot steel cut oats and a spoon.

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats (Fool-Proof Method!)

4.78 from 154 votes
Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats will make your mornings better! This cooking method makes the process hands-off so you can get other things accomplished while your breakfast cooks to perfection.
prep1 min cook4 mins Pressurize Time:25 mins total30 mins
Servings:6 servings


  • 2 cups steel cut oats (certified gluten-free, if necessary)
  • 5 cups water
  • pinch of salt (optional)


  • Combine the steel-cut oats and water in the bowl of a 6-quart Instant Pot and give them a stir. (If using a different size machine, please see the notes for modifications.) Secure the lid and turn the steam release valve at the top to "Sealing." 
  • Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button to cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. The Instant Pot will read "ON" as it comes to pressure, which may take about 10 minutes. When the floating valve in the lid pops up, you'll know the pot is pressurized and the countdown will begin.
  • When the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for at least 15 minutes. (The timer on the Instant Pot will remain on after the cooking cycle to let you know how long it's been kept warm unless you press the OFF button. I like to keep it on for the timer function.) It's okay if you let them sit in the pot longer, too!
  • Once 15 minutes have passed, turn the steam release valve to "venting" to release any remaining pressure. Carefully remove the lid and stir the oats to incorporate any water that has risen to the top. The oats will thicken as they cool; feel free to add extra water or your favorite milk to loosen the texture.
  • Serve warm with your favorite toppings. Leftover oats can be stored in individual containers in the fridge for up to a week, for a fast breakfast on the go. 



Nutrition information is for roughly 1 cup of cooked oatmeal, assuming you get 6 cups from this recipe. This information is automatically calculated and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.
Pro Tip: Don’t replace the water with dairy milk when cooking oats in your Instant Pot. It can scorch to the bottom of your pot and trigger a “hot” or “burn” error on your machine. You can always add milk after cooking for extra creaminess.
Use a 3-quart Instant Pot: Cut the recipe in half to make sure you don’t fill the pot more than halfway full. The cooking time should remain the same.
Use an 8-quart Instant Pot: Reduce the cooking time to 3 minutes, since the pot will take longer to pressurize and de-pressurize.
Update Note: This recipe was updated in May 2024 with more tips and new photos. The only change is adding an optional pinch of salt and reducing the natural release to 15 minutes instead of 20. You can find the original recipe here.


Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 10mg | Fiber: 5g | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2.2mg
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot steel cut oats

If you try this Instant Pot steel-cut oats recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it.




Megan Gilmore leaning on her white countertop.

Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned best-selling cookbook author. I create healthy recipes made with simple ingredients to make your life easier.

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  1. I’ll be using your almond milk recipe, but with sunflower seeds.thanks for all the great recipes. I made the zucchini chocolate muffins all the time. Wish me luck!

    1. Hi! I love the recipe. I use regular milk as I enjoy the taste. It comeS out creamy and delicious. The only problem I have is that it sticks to the instant pot and is really Hard to clean. I’ve tried putting oil at the bottom but doesn’t make a difference.
      Any suggestions?

  2. I made your Easy Coconut Curry a couple nights ago but forgot to post about it. We LOVE that recipe!

    p.s. You may want to change the date at the bottom for entry dateline – it shows Jan 7th.



  4. Have tried several recipes and have loved all of them. Really love your recipes even more now as I am also trying a keto diet and alot of your recipes seem to fit. My plan is to try the Cherry Chocolate Avocado Pudding – your Cauliflower Pizza Crust and the Sweet Potato Quinoa Mason Jar Salad.

  5. Love the creamy, yet toothsome, tasty steel cut oats!! Especially wonderful w the pumpkin purée, toasted sunflower seeds and a touch of coconut milk in the cooking water!! Thank you Detixinista!!! Love your recipes and inspiration.