This genius trick will change the way you prepare oatmeal

This genius trick will change the way you prepare oatmeal

I’m not a big countertop “appliance”. I prefer to use a stove, oven or grill to cook rather than the slow cooker, microwave or air fryer. However, I like a rice cooker.

Rice can be such a difficult food to prepare, but a rice cooker takes the guesswork out. And it makes really delicious rice, every time.

Do you know what else he can do? Makes ridiculously good rolled oats.

My dad loved these individual packets of Quaker Instant Oatmeal, especially the maple brown sugar flavor, which had been a staple in our house for as long as I can remember. (I also remember a few college buddies living entirely on an “oatmeal diet” for a week or more, but that’s a conversation for another day.)

As for the actual oats, I sometimes tossed them into chocolate chip cookie dough, but rarely made oatmeal “from scratch” on the stovetop. It felt a bit more like a business, especially on a frenetic morning.

That all changed when I started using the rice cooker, which is almost completely hands-off.

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To make oatmeal using a rice cooker, you absolutely must use old fashioned rolled or steel cut oats. Instant or quick-cooking oats are not ideal in this case, as they would likely become overcooked and gummy in a rice cooker.

Also keep in mind that amounts of liquid (milk, cream, oat milk, water, etc.) will vary greatly depending on the oats you choose, your specific rice cooker, and your individual preferences in oatmeal matter i.e. loose and runny, thick and rich or somewhere in between. You can also choose to make them vegan, vegetarian or entirely carnivorous – the journey is entirely up to you.


  • 1 cup oats (preferably old fashioned, rolled or steel cut)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of liquid of your choice (milk, cream, oat milk, water, etc.)
  • Kosher salt
  • Vanilla and/or maple extract, optional
  • Toppings of your choice


  1. Plug the rice cooker cord into the outlet.
  2. Add oats, liquid, salt and extracts, if using. Turn on the rice cooker or switch to the “porridge” setting if your rice cooker has that option.
  3. You should have perfect, thick rolled oats in 15 minutes. Some rice cookers automatically turn off after sensing food has been cooked or liquid has been absorbed; if you’d like it a little more cooked, the “warm” setting should do the trick.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and finish with your ideal toppings.

Cook’s Notes

– Oatmeal fillings are such a varied wonderland of textures, flavors, temperatures and consistencies. Go with the standard and top with ground cinnamon and a dash of maple syrup. Conversely, add raisins or currants, honey, banana, granola, strawberries, toasted nuts, berries, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, jam, applesauce , chocolate chips and nut butter. The combinations are endless.

– I also like the hot spices in oatmeal; think cinnamon, but take it up a notch with cardamom, cloves, ground ginger, mace and similar flavors.

– Go the way of salty oatmeal, which is a vastly underrated work. Top with crispy bacon, other breakfast meats, eggs, avocado, fresh herbs, veggies, roasted tomatoes, or whatever you’d like.

– If you like, feel free to spray some cooking spray to make sure the oats don’t stick.

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