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How to Cook Oat Groats

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Oat groats are a versatile ingredient that you can use in sweet or savory dishes. Their wholesome, chewy texture and nutty flavor make them a great addition to hot cereal, soup, salads, or grain bowls.

Learn how to cook oat groats with several different cooking methods, including the stovetop, Instant Pot, rice cooker, and slow cooker.

Four breakfast bowls with oat groats topped with sweet and savory toppings.

You may be wondering, ‘what are oat groats’? Oat groats are whole oat kernels that have been cleaned of their inedible outer hull. They are a whole grain that is minimally processed, leaving them high in fiber, protein, and minerals.

Why This Recipe Works

  • You can easily scale this recipe up to make a double or triple batch. Store the cooked groatmeal in the fridge or freezer.
  • Whole grain oats have more fiber than rolled oats, leaving you feeling full longer.
  • Oat groats are versatile. Add savory or sweet toppings to make a filling breakfast, or add them to soups and stews. You can even use them like farro in a grain bowl.
Oat groats, steel cut oats, and rolled oats shown for comparison.
From left to right: oat groats, steel-cut oats, rolled oats.

Oat Groats vs Steel Cut Oats

Steel-cut oats (sometimes called Irish oats) are whole oat groats that have been chopped into smaller pieces but not rolled or flattened like traditional oatmeal. Both steel-cut oats and whole oat groats are minimally processed, but steel-cut oats will cook quicker because they are smaller in size.

Oat Groats vs Rolled Oats

Rolled oats are more processed than oat groats, and they get steamed or soaked in water, then flattened. This process makes them cook faster, but it also removes some of the fiber and nutrition. Oat groats have a chewy texture and a nutty flavor, and more nutrition.

Ingredients Needed for Oat Groats

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need to cook oat groats. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details. 

  • Raw oat groats
  • Salt
  • Water. You can also use chicken broth or beef broth if you want to make savory oats.
  • Toppings and mix-ins, if desired. Fruit, nuts, honey, cream, granola, and dried fruit are great for sweet toppings. You can also top the groats with savory goodies like fried eggs, bacon, chives, cheese, or avocado.
Breakfast oat groats topped with savory eggs, bacon, and avocados.

How to Make Oat Groats 

You can cook oat groats in the instant pot, slow cooker, stovetop, or even in a rice cooker. Here is a brief overview of each of the processes. For all the details, scroll down to the printable recipe card.

Cooking oat groats on the stove top.

To cook oat groats on the stovetop, bring the oats, water, and salt to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Place the lid on the pot to reduce evaporation.

Cooking whole oats in an Instant Pot.

For Instant Pot oat groats, add everything to the Instant Pot, seal the lid and make sure the pressure valve is in the sealed position. Cook the oats on high pressure, then let it do a natural pressure release.

Cooking whole oats in a slow cooker.

To cook oat groats in a slow cooker, add the water, salt, and groats to the inner pot, clamp the lid down and select either high or low heat.

If you have a slow cooker that automatically switches to warm, use this method to cook the oats overnight.

Cooking groats in a rice cooker.

Making oat groats in the rice cooker is similar to making rice in the rice cooker. The appliance will automatically shut off when the groats finish cooking.

If you want a softer texture, add a bit more water and start the rice cooker again.

Tips for Success

  • For savory oat groats, use chicken broth instead of water.
  • If there is any water left in the cooking pot when the groats finish cooking, just pour the excess liquid out.
  • You don’t need as much water if you cook the oat groats in an Instant Pot because there is very little evaporation.
  • You can reheat cooked oat groats in a microwave to make a simple and healthy breakfast. 
  • Rinsing the whole oats is optional but recommended, especially if you purchase the groats from bulk food bins, as they could have debris on them.
  • If you presoak the oats, reduce the cooking time.

Save several portions of oat groats in the freezer if you want to. 
Thaw a portion of frozen oat groats in the fridge overnight, and reheat them as usual the following morning.

Pouring cream over a bowl of oats.

Frequently asked questions 

Do oat groats need to be soaked?

No, you don’t have to soak oats. Some people prefer to soak their groats to help them cook faster and to reduce the phytic acid. If you want to pre-soak your groats, reduce the cooking time.

What is the ratio of oat groats to water?

The ratio is 1 part oat groats to 3 parts water. However, if you cook oat groats in an Instant Pot, you only need a 1 to 2.5 ratio.

Are groats healthier than rolled oats?

Yes, whole oat groats have more nutrients because they have not been processed.

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Some More Recipes You Will Love:

We love starting the day with a healthy, filling breakfast like oat groats. If you want more healthy breakfast ideas, try our sweet potato hash, barley bread, or spelt porridge.

For more ways to add healthy oats to your day, try our oatmeal cookies, baked oatmeal, or our oatmeal bread.

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Breakfast porridge made with oat groats.

How to Cook Oat Groats

Oat groats are a versatile ingredient that can be used in sweet or savory dishes. Their wholesome, chewy texture and nutty flavor make them a great addition to hot cereal, soup, salads, or grain bowls.
4.96 from 23 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 116kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger


  • 3 cups water**
  • 1 cup whole oat groats rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • optional toppings see notes


Stovetop Directions

  • Add the water, oat groats, and salt to a medium-sized saucepan. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and place the lid on the pot. 
  • Cook for 45 minutes for a slightly chewy texture or 60 to 70 minutes for a soft, creamy texture.
  • If there is any liquid left in the pot, drain it off. 

Instant Pot Directions

  • Add 2-1/2 cups water, oat groats, and salt to the Instant Pot. Close the lid and set the valve to seal. 
  • Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes for a slightly chewy texture or 22 minutes for a softer texture.
  • Let the Instant Pot do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. Taste-test the oats to determine if you like the texture. If you prefer a softer texture, replace the lid and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes (make a note of your desired cook time for the next time you make oat groats in the Instant Pot).
  • If there is any liquid left, pour it out. 

Slow Cooker Directions

  • Place the water, oat groats, and salt in a slow cooker. 
  • Cover the pot and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or on high for 2 to 3 hours. Slow cookers vary in temperature and timing. Check the doneness of the oats and adjust the cooking time according to your slow cooker.

Oat Groats in the Rice Cooker

  • If you have a smaller rice cooker, some of the liquid may foam up and bubble over as it cooks. Place the rice cooker on a plate or tray to catch any liquid that may bubble over. 
  • Add the water, oat groats, and salt to the rice cooker. 
  • Place the lid on the rice cooker and push the tab down to start the cooking. The tab will pop up when the oat groats are finished cooking. If your rice cooker has a timer, set the timer for 45 minutes. 
  • Taste-test the oats. If you prefer a softer texture, add 1/2 cup of liquid and push the tab down to cook more.


  • It normally takes 3 cups of liquid to 1 cup of oat groats to cook whole oat groats. However, since there is little to no evaporation from the Instant Pot, you only need 2-1/2 cups of liquid if you are cooking the groats in an Instant Pot.
  • For savory oat groats, replace the water with chicken broth or beef broth. 

Sweet Topping suggestions

  • Fresh fruit such as pomegranates, berries, bananas, diced apples or pears.
  • Peanut butter or Nutella
  • Toasted coconut
  • Crunchy granola
  • Toasted nuts like almonds, pistachios or candied pecans 
  • Dried fruit such as raisins, dried cranberries, prunes.
  • Brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup. 

For savory toppings:

  • Poached eggs
  • Avocado slices
  • Green onions or chives
  • Shredded cheese (we love smoked Gouda or sharp Cheddar)
  • Bacon crumbles 
  • Diced ham
  • Spicy sausage links
  • Sautéed spinach
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sriracha, or teriyaki sauce


Serving: 1 | Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 539mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g

This post was originally published on January 16, 2015.

Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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Roger Payne

Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Hi Gooday Pat, I was just wondering why my comment is still pending after one week? I did make a mistake in sending a blank comment and I was wondering if that is the reason? Great site, thank you Pat. Roger Payne

Dahn Boquist

Thursday 28th of September 2023

Hi Roger, we don't have any pending comments. If you made a mistake with your last comment, it is possible that it ended up in the spam folder. You are welcome to send another comment or question if you didn't see a reply to your last one.

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