oatmeal in a rice cooker?
- david kaplan
I love oatmeal cooked slowly from whole oats. Does it work well in a rice cooker instead of the stovetop? What is the right ratio of oats to water? Thanks.
I tried it with my mini rice cooker and made a huge mess. Even though I played it safe and used a small amount of oats & liquid, it foamed up and out of the vents and spilled oat goo all over everything. You'll need tons of headroom in your cooker.
I also found the grains were still rather hard, and some stuck to the bottom of the pot. Overall, I wouldn't recommend it. I suspect steel cut oats need more gentle heat than white rice. If your rice cooker has advanced features to cook at a lower, gentler heat, it might work, but my cooker lacks the bells and whistles.
FYI, I used the same ratio I'd use in a saucepot: 1 part steel cut oats to 4 parts liquid.
re: Professor Salt
I've had the same experience. Oats need too much stirring. It's much easier to use the method that's often posted on this board:
toast oats, add boiling water, cook until boiling again, put on a tight lid, turn off stove, go to sleep. Heat up gently the next morning, and you'll be good to go.
I use a Rival mini crockpot bought at Target--for $9.99 (I think it's a quart or quart.5). I've used it many times to cook steel cut oats. Put it on at night, hot oatmeal in the morning. It seems to carmelize around the sides of the ceramic pot from the heat, but that's okay with me.
I have a panasonic fuzzy logic rice cooker that is awesome for steel cut oats. It even has a timer, so I can put the ingredients in at night, set the timer, and it will be ready to go at the time I designate. It's awesome.
If you have a fuzzy logic rice cooker like mine (I got it at Williams Sonoma a couple years ago), here are the the instructions:
1. Using the measuring cup for the rice, add 1/2 a cup of oats and 1 cup of water
2. Set the menu to Brown Rice
3. Set the timer for the time you want the oats to START cooking (the cooking takes 40 minutes, so account for that when setting your timer).
Voila! Perfect, chewy, delicious steel cut oats. I haven't tried cooking them with anything else in there (dried fruit, etc.) but when you cook them this way (without any extra stuff) the oats come out perfect.
The cooker I have is a 5 cup cooker. If you try to mess with the proportion, or change the amount, you'll get a horrible mess, but the 1/2 cup to 1 cup ratio works perfectly for two normal sized servings or one GIANT serving.
I once tried to double the recipe, and piping hot oatmeal shot out of the top of the cooker all over my kitchen cabinets. It was not the best thing to wake up to.
My smart rice cooker -- a Sanyo, about four years old now -- makes great steel-cut oats. I use the same 2-to-1 water ratio plus a little more. The cooker has a porridge setting, which produces similar results to the brown rice setting without making a mess. I generally make 1 and 1/2 cups of oats at a time (3 cups plus a couple of ounces of water), which yields six large servings ... a week of oatmeal in an hour or less. They freeze very well (4 minutes plus on high in the microwave) and taste delicious with a few slivers of butter shavings and a very light drizzle of real maple syrup.
I'm a big eater so to update ... I usually make 1 1/2 cups of McCann's steel-cut oats with about 3 1/2 cups of water and a tiny shake of salt. This yields three hearty portions of oatmeal so eat one, the remainder of which can be refrigerated or frozen. Either way, it's best to drip a little water over it before re-heating. You want it to steam a bit before you remove it from the microwave and shave butter and drizzle maple syrup over it. As almost always, less is more. Not too much and you have a nutritious, delicious and deeply satisfying breakfast. Go ahead and have a banana if you like, or some blueberries (but not in the oatmeal -- my preference). A cup of good coffee on the side works well, too, and a little orange juice.