overnight oatmeal in a crockpot

In technique on December 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm

this was for yet another fundraiser at work. ’tis the season.

the theme was breakfast bake sale, and instead of doing one more (unhealthy) baked good, i decided to do an oatmeal bar.

that is, bowls of oatmeal with lots of yummy top-your-own toppings.

my first plan was to wake up super early, cook multiple pots of old fashioned oats, and transport them in a crockpot to keep warm throughout the sale.

but you know me… i don’t ever want to get out of bed one half-second earlier than i absolutely have to, so when i remembered that you can make steel-cut oatmeal in a crockpot overnight, i was sold.


this makes twelve servings, but don’t hesitate to make more or less using the same proportions:

3 cups steel-cut oats
12 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt

stir well. set crockpot on low. cook for 4 hours. turn down to warm, cook for 3 more hours. (** see note!)


after reading some horror stories on the internet, i was absolutely petrified that it would dry out too fast and stick and burn and ruin the pot. but it didn’t! (and i didn’t even spray it with cooking spray like some websites said.)

it did need a good stir, though, when it was done. the top got a little dry, but once it was stirred in, it was fine.


NOTE! so here’s the thing: every crockpot is different, right? and their settings are all different, too. i originally planned on having it cook for 8-9 hours on low. but i freaked out in the middle of the night, woke up, stirred it, and decided to turn it down because i thought it was dehydrating too quickly.

and by the time it was done, it had been only been on for 7 hours.

if you don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night, i’d set it on warm the whole time. or if your pot doesn’t have a warm setting, go with low, but for less time. unless it’s an older pot which, according to the internet, affects things, too.

i guess what i’m saying is that i can’t give you precise directions. sorry. you have to keep an eye on it, which… kind of defeats the “overnight” part.

anyway, in this case, luckily for me, it turned out great.

for toppings, i provided cinnamon, butter, brown sugar, granola with nuts (for crunch!), mixed dried fruit (brown and golden raisins, currants, cranberries), chocolate chips, and two kinds of milk – regular and almond.

i wish i had taken a picture of the final set up, but i was too busy raising money!


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