Learn how to cook oat groats with this easy, creamy oat groats recipe! Find a variety of cooking methods, including stove top, Instant Pot, and slow cooker, along with a collection of tips, tricks, and topping ideas!
Oat groat recipes recently became part of my personal gluten-free breakfast routine, but are a family favorite as well. Like oatmeal, steel-cut oats, or porridge, they can be sweetened to your liking and topped with a variety of healthy to indulgent options.
You may be wondering what are oat groats. They are the purest form of what many consider to be oatmeal. Groats are minimally processed, meaning it’s a whole kernel milled to only remove the husk, leaving the endosperm, germ, and bran.
Since the grain is left more intact than steel-cut oats, rolled, or quick oats, cooking oat groats requires more time. They are worth the wait, though! Oatmeal groats are a lovely mixture of creamy porridge with a bit of nutty, al dente, chewy texture.
Are oat groats gluten-free?
Yes, oat groats are a gluten-free grain. However, like any oatmeal or oat flour recipes, there’s a contamination risk depending on how they were processed and packaged.
Some manufactures use shared equipment with wheat products, therefore it’s best to use certified gluten-free oat groats. If you are cooking oat groats for someone with celiac disease or with a gluten sensitivity, it’s safest to check if they can tolerate oats.
Although the certified oats cost a little more, they still are an affordable whole grain. Spending less on gluten-free ingredients is a speciality of mine, with many recipes highlighted in my gluten-free cookbook!
Best way to cook oat groats
When researching how to cook oat groats, I experimented with every way possible to see if one method was quicker, easier, or yielded a better texture. If there was a best way to cook oat groats, I was determined to discover it!
Surprisingly, the method didn’t make a huge difference in the outcome (except for rice cooker – more on that below). Even a pressure cooker didn’t lessen cook time than stove top. So, choose a method based on personal preference and timing!
An important note to keep in mind is the water to groats ratio stays the same, no matter the method. Although other oat groat recipes use a variety of ratios, I found 1 cup groats to 3 cups of water yields a soft texture.
Stove top instructions
- Bring 3 cups water and a dash of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Add 1 cup oat groats, cover, and reduce temperature to a gentle simmer for 40 minutes.
- Remove the lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until soft and the water is absorbed.
- If desired, remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
cooking in an Instant pot
While a lot of recipes for Instant Pot oat groats call for only 15-20 minutes cook time, I found they took a lot longer! In all my pressure cooker groats trials, the cook time wasn’t very different from stove top, just more hands-off.
- Combine 3 cups water, 1 cup oat groats, and a dash salt in the Instant Pot.
- Secure the lid on, sealing the valve. Cook under high pressure for 50 minutes. After the cook time has ended, let the pressure cooker sit and naturally release for 15 minutes.
- Release any remaining pressure. If water is still not absorbed, use the SAUTE function to simmer and stir until absorbed.
slow cooker directions
If you are looking for another hands-off method, or would like a batch waiting for you in the morning, crock pot oat groats are the way to go!
- Combine 3 cups of water, 1 cup oat groats, and a dash salt in a slow cooker.
- Cook on LOW overnight or at least 10 hours.
When researching this recipe I also came across the rice cooker method, using the “brown rice” setting. It sounded pretty effortless, so I gave it a try!
When the brown rice cooking time ended, though, I did not find the groats to be cooked enough. I added more water and extended the cooking time an additional 15 minutes.
At the end of that time, the groats were soft, but not the same consistency as using one of the methods above. They resembled cooked rice grains.
If you wish to enjoy oat groats as a pilaf, side dish, or to mix in soups and stews, this would be a great method to use, but not recommended as a breakfast porridge.
Soaking before cooking
During my experiments, I also wondered if I had to soak oat groats before cooking. I tested this out with the stove top recipe.
One batch I brought to a boil, covered, and simmered for 3 minutes before letting it soak overnight. I finished the cooking process the next morning. The other batch I cooked straight away, without soaking.
Soaking oats groats before cooking did not make a measurable difference with cooking time or texture. They both still took about 50 minutes before they were a creamy, soft texture, so save yourself a step and don’t bother soaking first!
Like another protein-rich recipe, Instant Pot yogurt, the sky is really the limit on what sprinkle on top. Adjust the sweetness to your liking using, brown sugar, maple syrup, coconut sugar, or a sugar-free sweetener.
- Fresh fruit or sauces like, Blueberry Syrup
- Nuts, like pistachios, almonds, walnuts, or Candied Pecans
- Cocoa Nibs or chocolate chips
- Sweetened or unsweetened coconut
- Peanut butter or nut butters
- Heavy cream, milk, half and half, or non-dairy milk
- Gluten-free granola or chocolate granola
- Dried fruit
Storing, reheating, and freezing
Since this oat groats recipe has a long prep time, I like to make a large batch to refrigerate and have on hand for weekday breakfasts. Store cooked and cooled groats in an airtight container up to a week.
To reheat, add a splash of milk or water and warm on the stove or in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
For longer storage, it may also be frozen in single size servings. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then rewarm using the method described above.
Uncooked groats have a shelf life of 18 months to 2 years in the pantry. Store in the packaging or transfer to a storage container.
Difference between oat groats, steel cut oats, rolled oats
Although they all come from the same grain, there is a difference between groats, steel-cut oats, and oatmeal.
Whole oat groats have their outer husk, or hull, removed leaving everything else in the oat kernel. Steel-cut oats takes the groats and cuts it in smaller pieces, shortening cooking time.
Rolled oats have been steamed and flattened, to lessen cooking time even more. Quick oats are flattened thinner so they have the shortest cooking time and the softest texture.
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How to Cook Oat Groats
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup oat groats, certified gluten-free
- dash salt
- Optional toppings: maple syrup, brown sugar, fruit, nuts, coconut, peanut butter (see recipe notes for more ideas)
- Bring water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Add the oat groats, cover, and reduce temperature to a gentle simmer for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until soft and water is absorbed.
- If desired, remove from heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Combine the water, groats, and salt in the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and make sure the valve is sealed.
- Cook under high pressure for 50 minutes. After the cook time has ended, let the pressure cooker sit and naturally release for 15 minutes. Release any remaining pressure.
- If there is water still not absorbed, use the SAUTE function to simmer and stir until absorbed.
- Combine the water, oat groats, and salt in a slow cooker. Cook on LOW 10 hours.
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