How to Cook Oats


Cooked oats, also called oatmeal, make a delicious breakfast porridge or wholesome dessert. Whether you’re at the office or at home, you can make a bowl of delicious and nutritious oatmeal in no time. By cooking oats on the stovetop, in the microwave, or in a rice cooker, you can find an easy method that works for your kitchen.

Part 1
Cooking Oats on the Stovetop

Cooking Oats on the Stovetop on How to Cook Oats

1
Place the pot on the stovetop, and turn the stove on medium-high. Watch the pot for when the liquid reaches a boil.[1] Using 1 cup (235 ml) of liquid and 0.5 cup (45 g) of oats will make a serving of oats for 1 person. If you’re cooking oats for multiple people, scale up the amount of liquid and oats as necessary. You can use any milk fat percentage you prefer. Using higher fat milk will yield a creamier oatmeal, while using water will create a plainer oatmeal. Omit the salt if you are following a low-sodium diet. It won’t affect the cooking process.

Cooking Oats on the Stovetop on How to Cook Oats

2
5 cup (45 g) of old fashioned oats to the boiling liquid and stir. Reduce the heat of the stovetop to medium. Stir the oat mixture continuously with a spoon to prevent lumps. Scrape the bottom of the pot as you stir to keep the oats from sticking.[2]

Cooking Oats on the Stovetop on How to Cook Oats

3
Stir your oats while cooking. When 5 minutes are up, spoon a taste of oatmeal into a bowl. Blow to cool it for about 30 seconds, and sample the oatmeal. If it meets your desired level of doneness, it is ready.[3] If the oatmeal still tastes too firm to you, continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Sample the oatmeal again. Continue this process of cooking and sampling until the oatmeal is to your taste.

Cooking Oats on the Stovetop on How to Cook Oats

4
Use a ladle or another serving spoon to serve yourself a bowl of oatmeal. Let the oatmeal cool in the bowl for about a minute. Stir it gently to release steam and cool it down more quickly.[4] Eating the oatmeal right away may cause you to burn your mouth. Try to restrain yourself!

Cooking Oats on the Stovetop on How to Cook Oats

5
Try mixing berries, nuts, spices, or honey into your oatmeal to create enticing flavor combinations. On its own, oatmeal is very plain. By adding different toppings, you can vary your oatmeal experience from day to day.[5] Add a medley of red berries with strawberries, raspberries, and dried cranberries. Coconut flakes and chia seeds can add a nice crunch to your oatmeal.

Part 2
Making Oats in the Microwave

Making Oats in the Microwave on How to Cook Oats

1
Use 0.5 cup (45 g) of oats, 1 cup (235 ml) of water or milk, and a dash of salt. Stir the ingredients for about 30 seconds until the oats are no longer floating.[6] For richer oatmeal, use cream or whole fat milk; for a health-conscious alternative, try skim milk or water. If you’re following a low-sodium diet, leave out the salt. It won’t affect your oatmeal.

Making Oats in the Microwave on How to Cook Oats

2
5-3 minutes. Watch your oatmeal in the microwave as it cooks to ensure it doesn’t boil over. If you notice the oatmeal bubbling up, pause the microwave. Give the oatmeal a stir, and continue with the remaining cooking time.[7] Pause and stir your oatmeal as needed only if it threatens to bubble over. Otherwise, you can simply let the full cooking time proceed. Cooking time may vary depending on the age and strength of your microwave.

Making Oats in the Microwave on How to Cook Oats

3
Wearing oven mitts or using a kitchen towel, remove your hot bowl of oatmeal from the microwave. Stir the oatmeal for about 30 seconds to cool the oatmeal and remove lumps.[8]

Making Oats in the Microwave on How to Cook Oats

4
If your oatmeal is cooked to your preference, add any desired toppings. If the oatmeal still tastes a little firm, place it back in the microwave and cook it for another minute. Continue sampling and cooking the oatmeal as necessary until it is done.[9] If the oatmeal is undercooked but has absorbed all the liquid, add a splash of milk or water. Stir it before putting it back in the microwave.

Making Oats in the Microwave on How to Cook Oats

5
Jazz up your cooked oats with dried fruit, granola, sweeteners, milk, or any toppings you like. Dried fruit makes an easy shelf-stable topping you can stash in an office drawer.[10] Try oatmeal with bananas, walnuts, and maple syrup for banana-bread inspired flavors. Add apple and cinnamon for a warm fall flavor combination.

Part 3
Using a Rice Cooker to Make Oats

Using a Rice Cooker to Make Oats on How to Cook Oats

1
Use 1 cup (90 g) of oats, 1.75 cups (411 ml) of water or milk, and a dash of salt per person. Give the ingredients a quick stir with a spoon, and replace the rice cooker’s lid.[11] If you’re serving multiple guests, scale the recipe up as necessary.

Using a Rice Cooker to Make Oats on How to Cook Oats

2
Set your rice cooker to the “on” position and wait nearby. Rice cookers self regulate and will shut off based on the amount of cooking liquid that remains in the chamber. You do not need to stir the oats, remove the lid, or intervene.[12] Rice cookers often give off hot steam, which can cause burns. Avoid placing your hands above the rice cooker’s vents for any reason during the cooking time.

Using a Rice Cooker to Make Oats on How to Cook Oats

3
Depending upon your model, your rice cooker will sound an alarm or shut off when it’s finished cooking the oats. Remove the lid, and give the oats a stir.[13] Cooking time varies depending upon your model but should take roughly 10-15 minutes.

Using a Rice Cooker to Make Oats on How to Cook Oats

4
Use a large serving spoon or ladle to make yourself a fresh bowl of oatmeal. Stir the oatmeal gently for about a minute in your bowl to release additional steam and allow it to cool.[14] Take care not to burn yourself. The oats are very hot.

Using a Rice Cooker to Make Oats on How to Cook Oats

5
Personalize your oatmeal with toppings that sound good to you. Combinations of fruits and nuts common in baked goods are great sources of inspiration.[15] If you’re having cooked oats for dessert, add a few chocolate chips for an indulgent treat