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Burnt Steel Cut Oats and Slow Cooker

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After cooking steel cut oats using the stovetop method for the past month, temptation gave in yesterday as I walked through the hardware store. I picked up a $15 1.5 QT Rival Crock Pot (slow cooker). It has no temperature selector but the information provided says the temperature is equivalent to the “low” setting on models equipped with a selector.

So, last night at 10pm I put 1/2 of oats, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of skim milk, a little Splenda and some vanilla extract in the slow cooker and went to bed.

9 hours later I awoke and found a very thick burnt layer (a crust, if you will) around the perimeter of the pot. What wasn’t burnt was edible (and tasted pretty good too), but that burnt crust is THICK. The stone insert is soaking in the sink right now.

So, for those of you who use the slow cooker method of preparing steel-cut oats, is there any way to prevent this burning? I’m inclined to return to the stovetop method rather than have to deal with that burnt crust everyday.

TIA.

Hank

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  1. I've never used my slow cooker for steel-cut oats. Instead, I just put them in a bowl of water overnight and then microwave them for a minute or so in the morning. They're never overcooked and I don't have to make as much as I would in a slowcooker.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jillp
      c
      ChowFun (derek)

      Do you use the same proportions 1 to 4...water to oats?

      1. re: ChowFun (derek)

        We just put the oats in a bowl and cover them with water until the water is about 1/2 to 3/4 inch above the level of the oats. It's pretty much the same way you measure water and rice.

        1. re: jillp
          c
          ChowFun (derek)

          Thanks..the old knuckle technique!

    2. You'll want to use 1 cup oats and 4 cups liquid.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        That's the same ratio I used...1/2 cup of oats to 2 cups of liquid.

        Are you saying I simply need more volume to avoid burning?

        Hank

      2. We put everything into the pot and turn it on at 3 or 4 in the morning since one of us is usually up for a short time. Starting it at bedtime, we've always had the same problem with the crustiness, although soaking loosens it right up.

        1. I also recently tried the slow cooker method after many delicious stovetop preparations and was similarly disappointed. My oatmeal didn't develop a crust, but what did happen was that the oats became way overcooked, and all that distinct nuttiness and chewiness from the steel cut oats was gone. It tasted frighteningly similar to your standard quaker oats bowl.

          I guess it's back to the stovetop method for me (be sure to toast those oats before boiling!)

          Mr. Taster