Morning Steel Oatmeal

Morning Steel Oatmeal


Nutty and creamy, steel-cut oats are a hearty and healthy breakfast.

Oats have been proven to lower LDL cholesterol, slow the movement of food through the gut, and recent studies have shown they can help balance testosterone levels, so, get your morning steel on…morning steel cut oats I mean. Here’s how to do them right.

This recipe first appeared in Season 5 of Good Eats.

Morning Steel Oatmeal

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the oats. Stir for 2 minutes to toast. Add the boiling water and reduce heat to a simmer. Keep at a low simmer for 25 minutes, without stirring.
  2. Combine the milk and 1/2 cup of the buttermilk with the oatmeal. Stir gently to combine and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with remaining buttermilk, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Yield: 4 servings

Active time: 10 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

88 Comments

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  1. 2
    Cheri

    Made this yesterday and it was yummy fresh out of the pot. Reheated leftovers today and it was still delish. Never would have thought about buttermilk on my oats! A very nice recipe and technique. So easy and hands-off!

  2. 3
    ks

    I’ve toasted the steel cut oats in a dry non-stick skillet and then proceeded with the stove-top version.
    I’ve also done the same and then added my liquid for an overnight soak with some chia seeds in a glass canning jar for a quick on-the run version.
    The toasting gives it a nuttier taste.

  3. 4
    Lipstick Librarian

    I’ve toasted the steel cut oats in a dry non-stick skillet and then proceeded with the stove-top version.
    I’ve also done the same and then added my liquid for an overnight soak with some chia seeds in a glass canning jar for a quick on-the run version.
    The toasting gives it a nuttier taste.

  4. 7
    Jordan

    My favorite oatmeal recipe, and I actually love treating them as grits and stirring in cheese and serving with bacon and eggs.

  5. 8
    Sylv

    Alton, come into the 21st Century, people don’t have time to stir steel cut oats for 25 minutes. I had three children leaving for school at different times and had a ladle, bowls, and Tablesppons on the table the night before.. Also put SC Oats in crockpot on low setting to cook till morning with cut up apples and egg in it plus milk . Was ready for children to ladle out their breakfast every half hour before school ! Now they are grown, I use a small four portion crock for myself and add egg white, stir till cooked then frozen blueberries, milk and protein powder, eazey Peary !
    PS: I also won NY Regents Science award.

    • 9
      Vince

      If you reread this you’ll notice that it explicitly says NOT to stir it at all. The recipe is a good one for busy moms as it only requires your attention at three specific points in a 38 minute period. Plan ahead and you can enjoy this daily.

  6. 11
    Paulette

    I must try this! I have buttermilk in the fridge & steel cut oats in the cupboard. I have lately been favouring savoury oats & I think this cook up will make any version of oats I want to try

  7. 12
    Katy K.

    I just have to tell everyone..the buttermilk MAKES this recipe! I was never a big lover of oatmeal (steel cut or otherwise) but I am now totally addicted to this steel cut oatmeal! (Thanks Alton!) I made it exactly as in the recipe except I didn’t have whole milk so I opted for unsweetened almond milk and the buttermilk with the boiling water. Added dried tart cherries and toasted chopped walnuts in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Then topped with the rest of the buttermilk, brown sugar and a cinnamon/cardamom/ginger/nutmeg spice mixture. Best stuff EVER! The buttermilk makes it creamy and gives it an extra wonderful buttery taste (even if you don’t like buttermilk, you’ll like it in this). It’s worth the wait cooking it this way—I make double batches and put in a container in the fridge and scoop some out and warm up in microwave or on stove and then add the buttermilk and toppings to it (it’s even good cold or plain with no sugar or other toppings on it!)..YUM!

  8. 15
    Megan

    Saw on fb last night, made this morning. Definitely the best steel cut oats I’ve had. My only regret is that I saw it served 4 and cut it in half since I was just serving 2 – now I want more. 🙁 Thanks Alton!

  9. 17
    Savory Oats

    I eat my oats with congee and use chicken stock. I often add chicken, veggies, and/or Parmesan cheese to it. It’s also great with a soft poached egg.

  10. 20
    Debbie

    I always use evaporated milk. I was the first bottle baby in my family (long long ago), and I think she fed it to me in my bottle lol, but it’s yummy in oatmeal!

  11. 21
    KK

    We use a wide mouth insulated coffee carafe – multi tasker (or a large wide mouth thermos) 1/4 cup steel cut oats/per serving and one cup boiling water. Cover with a tea cozy for 2-3 hours than adjust consistency in a fry pan to thicken/warm up if desired. Minutes to prepare. Can also overnight temper the oats – softer texture.

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