How to Make Oatmeal

Four Methods:Cooking Rolled Oats and Old Fashioned OatmealCooking Steel-Cut OatsCooking Instant OatmealCooking Oatmeal in Other Ways

Oatmeal is not only easy to make, but it is also a great way to add more fiber to your diet. You can customize your oatmeal and make it hearty, sweet, or savory by adding ingredients such as nuts and berries, honey, or butter and salt. This article will not only show you have to make different types of oatmeal, but also the different ways you can make it.

Method 1
Cooking Rolled Oats and Old Fashioned Oatmeal

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    Fill a pot with 1 cup (240 milliliters) of water and put it on the stove. To make more oatmeal, add 1 cup (240 milliliters) of water per serving.[1]
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    Bring the water to a boil. This will give you nice, firm oats. If you want creamier oats, add the oatmeal to the water first, then boil it.[2]
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    Add ½ cup (40 grams) of oatmeal to the pot. To make more servings, add another ½ cup (40 grams). Both rolled oats and old fashioned oatmeal are the same thing; they just have two different names. This type of oatmeal is your standard oatmeal, and it looks like flakes.
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    Bring the oatmeal to a simmer and stir often. Eventually, the oatmeal will begin to absorb the water and thicken.
  5. 5
    Consider adding some toppings and flavorings. There are certain items that you can add to your oatmeal while it is cooking, while others are best left for the very end. Here are some suggestions:
    • For a savory oatmeal, add a pinch of salt and some butter.
    • For a sweeter oatmeal, stir in some honey or maple syrup. You can also use some brown sugar and cinnamon.
    • For a hearty oatmeal, stir in some raisins or dried cranberries. You can also use sliced almonds or crumbled walnuts or pecans.
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    Cook the oatmeal for about five minutes, or until you get the texture and consistency you want. The longer you cook your oatmeal, the thicker and softer it will become.
    • Once the oatmeal has cooked, consider covering the pot with a lid and let it sit (off the heat) for 2 minutes. This will allow the oatmeal to absorb any extra moisture.[3]
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    Serve the oatmeal in a deep bowl. You can add some toppings to enhance the flavor and make it even more filling. Here are some ideas for toppings:
    • For a sweeter oatmeal, use brown sugar, cinnamon, honey, or maple syrup.
    • For a creamier oatmeal, add some cream or butter.
    • For a fruity oatmeal, add some milk or cream, and top with blueberries, chopped peaches, or cut strawberries. You can also use diced apples and a pinch of cinnamon.
    • For a heartier oatmeal, add some raisins or dried cranberries. You can also used sliced almonds or crumbled walnuts or pecans.

Method 2
Cooking Steel-Cut Oats

  1. 1
    Fill a pot with ¾ to 1 cup (180 to 240 milliliters) of water per serving of oatmeal.[4] Pour the water into a medium-sized pot. The more water you use, the softer and creamier oats you will get.
  2. 2
    Put the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Set the heat on the stove to "high," and wait for the water to begin boiling.
  3. 3
    Add the steel-cut oats, stir and return to a boil. You will need ¼ cup (20 grams) of steel-cut oats per serving. You may also add a pinch of salt for flavor. Let the oats come back to a boil. Be sure to watch the pot so that the oats do not boil over onto the stove.
    • Steel-cut oats have a grittier texture and nuttier flavor compared to other types of oatmeal.
  4. 4
    Reduce the heat and bring the oats to a simmer. If you cannot tell whether or not the oats are simmering, watch for steam and the occasional bubble.
  5. 5
    Let the oats cook for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The longer you cook the oats, the softer they will become. When stirring the oats, be sure to scrap the bottom of the pot; this will prevent the oats from sticking to the pot.
    • If you wish to flavor your oatmeal, you may add some salt or butter. Other flavorings, such as honey, berries, and nuts are best left for the end. This is due to the long cooking time.
  6. 6
    Serve the oats as soon as they are finished cooking. Scoop the oatmeal into a deep bowl. At this time, you can add extra toppings to your oatmeal, such as honey, fruit, cinnamon, or maple syrup. For more ideas on toppings, click here. If you have any oatmeal left over, you may keep it in the fridge for up to a week.

Method 3
Cooking Instant Oatmeal

  1. 1
    Get a heat-safe bowl. You can use any type of bowl you want, but a deeper bowl will hold the heat better than a shallow one; it will also help prevent the oatmeal from becoming too dry and hard.
  2. 2
    Empty the packet of oatmeal into the bowl. If your instant oatmeal comes in a canister, measure out ¼ to ½ cup (20 to 40 grams) of instant oatmeal. This will be enough for one serving.
  3. 3
    Considering adding some flavor to your oatmeal. Most instant oatmeal already comes flavored, but if it doesn't, you can add your own flavors, such as salt or butter. For more suggestions, click here.
  4. 4
    Boil some water. You can boil the water in a kettle, an electric kettle, or a pot on the stove. You can also boil some water using a coffee maker (just make sure that there is nothing in the filter, or you will get coffee-flavored water).
  5. 5
    Pour the water over the oatmeal and stir. The package should tell you how much to add. In general, however, you will need about ½ to ¾ cups (120 to 180 milliliters) of hot water per serving of oatmeal. Stir the oatmeal with a spoon to combine everything.
  6. 6
    Wait two to three minutes for the oatmeal to cook. The longer you wait, the thicker the oatmeal will become.
  7. 7
    Adjust the consistency, if necessary. If the oatmeal is too thick, add some water, milk, or cream to thin it. If the oatmeal is too thin, add some more oatmeal. Stir the oatmeal to mix everything together.
  8. 8
    Serve the oatmeal immediately. Do not let the oatmeal sit, or it will become too thick and dry. Because most instant oatmeal already comes flavored, all you have to do is give it a quick stir with a spoon and eat it. You can, however, add some toppings to plain instant oatmeal, such as brown sugar, cinnamon, cream, dried fruits, honey, maple syrup, or nuts.

Method 4
Cooking Oatmeal in Other Ways

  1. 1
    Cook oatmeal in the microwave. If you are in a hurry, you can cook oatmeal in the microwave. Be sure to watch the microwave so that the oatmeal does not boil over and make a mess. Also, microwave oatmeal can be a little too thick and dry; you can fix this by stirring in some water, milk, or cream before eating it. Here are some proportions and cooking times for microwave oatmeal:[5]
    • To make rolled oats or old fashioned oatmeal in the microwave, pour 1 cup (240 milliliters) of water and ½ cup (40 grams) of oatmeal into a heat-safe bowl and microwave for 2 ½ minutes to 3 minutes.
    • To make quick-cooking oats or instant oatmeal in the microwave, add 1 cup (240 milliliters) of water and ½ cup (40 grams) of oatmeal into a heat-safe bowl and microwave for 1 ½ minute to 2 minutes.
  2. 2
    Make some no-cook, overnight oatmeal in a jar. Combine all of your ingredients in a bowl, and scoop into two 8-ounce mason jars. Put the lid on the jars and place them in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, take the jars out and open them. You can eat the oatmeal directly out of the jar, or transfer the oatmeal into a bowl. Consider adding some honey or cream on top of the oats before eating them. The oats will have soaked up all the liquid overnight, turning into a rich and creamy oatmeal. Here is what you will need:[6]
    • 6 ounces (165 grams) yogurt. You can use plain, low-fat, or Greek yogurt.
    • 2/3 cups (55 grams) rolled oats or old fashioned oats
    • 2/3 cups (160 milliliters) milk
    • Additions, such as fresh berries, dried fruit, honey, maple syrup, or nuts. You can add as much as you want, so long as it will fit in the jar, or you can omit the additions completely.
  3. 3
    Make some oatmeal in a crock pot. Plug in your crock pot. Put all of the ingredients into the crock pot and stir to combine everything. Put the lid on, and turn on the crock pot. Let the oatmeal cook for 8 to 9 hours. Once it is cooked, turn off the crock pot, stir the oatmeal, and scoop it out into bowls. Consider making preparing the recipe the night before, so that it will be ready when you wake up in the morning. Here is what you will need:[7]
    • 4 cups (950 milliliters) water
    • 1 cup (80 grams) steel cut oats
    • 1 cup (120 grams) dried cranberries
    • 1 cup (150 grams) dried figs
    • ½ cup (120 milliliters) half-and-half
  4. 4
    Make some baked oatmeal. Turn on your oven and set the temperature to 350°F (176.66 °C). Mix all of the dry ingredients (oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt) in a bowl. In a second bowl, mix the wet ingredients (butter, eggs, and milk) using a whisk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon. Transfer the mixture into an oven-safe dish. Put the dish into the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Once the oatmeal is cooked, take it out of the oven, and serve. You can scoop it out of the dish using a serving spoon, and out it into a bowl. Here is what you will need:[8]
    • 3 cups (240 grams) quick-cooking oats
    • 1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup (115 grams) butter, melted
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup (240 milliliters) milk
  5. 5
    Eat some dry oatmeal with milk or yogurt. Keep in mind, however, that the oatmeal will puff in your stomach, so if you eat too much you may start feeling really full later on and get a tummy ache. Simply combine two parts liquid to one part uncooked oatmeal. Add some toppings, such as brown sugar, dried fruits, honey, maple syrup, or nuts. Stir with a spoon, and serve. You can use either milk or yogurt for the liquid.


  • Consider making a large batch of oatmeal and keeping it in the fridge. You can scoop out however much you want, add in a tablespoon or two of water of milk, and warm the oatmeal up in the microwave. Oatmeal will keep in the fridge for about three days.
  • Remember to stir the oatmeal once in a while to get a better consistency.
  • Experiment with adding extra toppings, such as dried fruit or honey.


  • Clean your pot immediately after making the oatmeal. Do not let the oatmeal dry in the pot, or you will have a difficult time cleaning it.
  • Never leave a burning stove or oven unattended. Not only is this a hazard, but you also risk scorching your oatmeal.

Sources and Citations

  1. Huffington Post, How to Cook Oatmeal
  2. Bon Appetite, How Not to Ruin Oatmeal: 9 Common Oatmeal Mistakes
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Article Info

Categories: Oatmeal and Porridge