Thursday, May 25, 2023

Overnight Steel Cut Oats: Quick Prep, Easy Cleanup, Tasty Results

When we travel with our nieces and nephew, one of our go to breakfast staples are steel cut oats. D. is diabetic, and steel cut oats are a high quality carb for him to start the day with. The rest of the kids also benefit from their don't-spike-your-blood-sugar quality.

The problem with steel cut oats is that they have a relatively long cook time. One work around we've experimented with is to prepare them in our rice cooker. This technically works: the oats take a few minutes to prepare and cook while we sleep. In the morning we wake to warm, fully cooked oats. Unfortunately, this approach ends up overflowing our rice cooker which means there's a mess to clean up. Also, when we travel I'd rather not have schlep a rice cooker.

Asking YouTube for ideas turned up this video: Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal | Easy Method! The video claims that if you bring a pot of water to boil, turn off the stove, add oats, put the pot's cover back on and leave it overnight the following morning the oats will be fully cooked. This seemed too good to be true, but was definitely worth a try. The video recommends a ratio of 4:1 for water to oats. So here's what 3 servings of oats (.75C) look like after being added to 3 cups of boiling water:

Look at how much water there is; that's never going to work. Right?

After letting the hot pot sit on the stove over night, here was the result:

It's a bit watery, but the oats are totally cooked. The method works! Unlike our overnight rice cooker experiment, there's no overflowing mess to clean up.

Fresh off this win, I thought I'd try a variant on this experiment. I added one serving of oats to a Tupperware container, and used our tea kettle to make hot, but not quite boiling water. I then added 1C of hot water to the Tupperware and and covered it. My hope was that I'd have a single serving of oats ready in the morning. Here was the before pic:

And here was the after pic. Yeah, this was a fail.

The oats were essentially uncooked in the morning. This makes sense, as hot water being poured into a room temperature plastic container isn't going to be remain hot as long  as a Pyrex container that's been brought to a boil.

This past weekend we field tested this method while on a camping trip with the kids. We boiled 2.85C of water in our Sea to Summit X-Pot, added 4 servings (1C) of steel cut oats and went to sleep. In the morning we had perfectly cooked oats. We warmed the oats on the stove in the stove, added some berries, and breakfast was a hit.

This is indeed the 'Easy Method!'

No comments:

Post a Comment