Going to the groats: a pictorial

How to cook oat groats in a rice cooker

June 26, 2008

When I wrote about oat groats a couple of weeks ago, I promised that I’d post again after perfecting the art of cooking the groats in my rice cooker. I’m happy to report that I did that, successfully, this morning. And it was easy — almost embarrassingly so.

I cooked the groats per instructions (and ratios and settings) for white rice. In my rice cooker, it took about an hour to cook two rice measures of oat groats. I think the pictures say it best.

Oat Groats
Raw oat groats in rice-cooker measure.
washing oat groats
I washed and rinsed the oat groats — just like I do for rice.
Oat groats in rice cooker
For two measures of groats, I added water as for two measures of white rice.
Cooked oat groats
After an hour, the groats were done, with great texture.
Oat groats with strawberries
Served with fresh strawberries.
Oat groats with cranberries
Or with cranberries and pumpkin seeds.

Thanks for following along. You may need to adjust proportions slightly for your rice cooker — do let us know. Now, back to the career as a folk-singer.

There are 32 comments on this item
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1. by Sandra Bartram on Jan 6, 2009 at 1:11 PM PST

Today is the first time I have ever read about oat groats. I buy my wheat through a co-op and they also have oat groats. My question is: Do I have to grind them some how before I cook them?

2. by James Berry on Jan 6, 2009 at 3:10 PM PST

@Sandra: no, you don’t need to do anything to the oat groats; just cook them! As I mention here (Wherein I discover oat groats), oat groats are oats that have had their hard outer husks removed.

3. by anonymous on Jan 26, 2009 at 8:10 PM PST

I had oat groats for the first time in a little coffee shop in Seattle and I thought they were the best thing ever. I found a place in Canada I can mail order them from and I’m waiting for the shipment. Thanks for the tip on the rice cooker. Your pictures look so excellent.

4. by anonymous on Mar 7, 2009 at 6:29 PM PST

Thanks so much for posting how to cook groats in a rice cooker! I have the same cooker as you I believe (Zojirushi?), and a pantry full of grains, but was never really sure if I could cook other grains in my rice cooker. Do you think I can just cook other grains as though they are white rice?

5. by James Berry on Mar 7, 2009 at 7:30 PM PST

@anon: Sure, np. I think that using the setting for white rice is a good starting point for a new grain you haven’t cooked before. From there you could adjust the amount of water and/or the rice setting if you want to change the texture. But I’d encourage you to go ahead and try, as you can’t really mess anything up, and grains are relatively cheap if you do go astray.

6. by anonymous on Mar 29, 2009 at 1:16 PM PDT

I have a Zojirushi rice cooker too, although not the same as yours. What setting did you cook it on? I’m anxious to try it out, setting the timer so it will be ready for breakfast!

7. by James Berry on Mar 29, 2009 at 2:47 PM PDT

@anon: I cooked on the setting for white rice.

8. by Hank Sawtelle on Mar 31, 2009 at 8:28 AM PDT

JB, is rinsing the groats strictly necessary? I rinse my white rice (necessary) and always feel bad about the wasted water. I don’t rinse brown rice because it doesn’t seem to emit starch when rinsed. Oat groats seem conceptually closer to brown rice, but I haven’t played with them yet.

9. by James Berry on Mar 31, 2009 at 9:33 AM PDT

Hank: no, I don’t think it’s probably necessary to rinse, as I don’t think it has the same degree of starchy powder that white rice has. I was just trying to keep the process as parallel as possible for the sake of simplicity.

10. by Vanessa on Mar 31, 2009 at 9:43 PM PDT

I’ve tried cooking groats in my Zojirushi (twice) and they left a thick sticky residue throughout the entire rice cooker. Your post has inspired me to try again, but I was just wondering if you’ve ever experienced this.

11. by anonymous on Jul 20, 2009 at 9:41 PM PDT

I normally use rolled oats but I’m going to try oat groats. Do they have to be cooked in a rice cooker? I usually cook rice in a saucepan on the hotplate but I will get a rice cooker if necessary

After they are cooked can I add milk like I do with rolled oats?

12. by Kim on Jul 21, 2009 at 9:16 AM PDT

Anonymous: You do not need a rice cooker to prepare oat groats. They are delicious cooked over the stove in plenty of water; just drain off whatever water’s left after 35 minutes or so (check for doneness; we like them chewy). And yes, you can add milk, honey, and fruit — or enjoy them savory, with olive oil and sea salt. I will reiterate that they are chewier than rolled oats, but that’s what we like about them!

13. by anonymous on Jul 21, 2009 at 8:54 PM PDT

Thanks Kim

14. by chocophile on Jul 25, 2009 at 7:51 AM PDT

Hi all,
I have made groats in my small, 1 1/2 quart slow cooker ($10 at Walgreens).
I put in one cup of organic groats, 4 cups of water, a dash of salt and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 3-4.
When they cool, I put them in a covered casserole in the fridge. Then, for each portion, I take about 1/4 of the casserole in a bowl, and nuke for 2 minutes. You may have to add a little water because the groats get thicker in the fridge.
Add in lots of cinnamon, some real maple syrup, and toasted walnuts. Yum!

15. by anonymous on Aug 4, 2009 at 7:19 PM PDT

I also have a Zojirushi rice cooker. I use the porride setting to cook steel cut oats. Have you ever used the porridge setting to cook the groats.

16. by Kim on Aug 5, 2009 at 11:00 AM PDT

We haven’t used the rice cooker’s porridge setting for groats. If you try it, let us know how it works!

17. by Jon on Aug 30, 2009 at 12:23 AM PDT

I purchased a Zojirushi NP-HBC10 .5 cup rice cooker today explicitly to cook oatmeal as it’s primary task. Though I do plan to cook other grains as well, of course.

I used steel cut groats for my first attempt. I used 1/3rd cup plus 2 tablespoons of groats, 2 cups of water and 1/3rd cup goat milk. Then I put a handful of fancy raisins and another of pecans, crushed in my hand. 2 tablespons of real maple syrup.

Set the rice cooker to porridge, hit start and listened to the cooker playing starry night. Then, bit over an hour later it played another melody and I knew it was done. I let it stay on warm while I finished the movie I was watching and then went to see what was what.

Well, the meal came out of the pot really nicely and into my bowl using the spatula that came with the cooker. A quick minute in the sink and the pot was clean, dry and back in the cooker.

I stuck a small pat of butter on the porridge and let me tell you. Never Better. It was just incredible. I’ll be making adjustments and experimenting going forward but seems like just making a regular extra batch was crazy easy and delicious.

I’ve got a double batch with just 1/2 cup groats, 2 1/2 cups water and 1 Tablespoon Maple syrup and set to be finished at 7:30AM. The cooker is set to ‘brown rice’ this time for a little more cooking.

18. by anonymous on Sep 18, 2009 at 9:22 AM PDT

I have cooked oat groats in a slow-cooker overnight. I use 1:4 groats & water, and start it before bed. By morning, they’re cooked, and you get a wonderful, creamy oatmeal.

19. by anonymous on Feb 6, 2010 at 6:36 AM PST

I have been eating groats, off and on, for several years now. I have always cooked mine overnight in a small 2 quart slow cooker and they come out delicious. I like your idea of the rice steamer though because of the speediness. I am going to give that a try also.

For the steel cut oats, I cook them on the stove top according to package directions, which is 1:2 ratio, allowing the water to boil and then adding the oats and removing them to a simmer position for 15 minutes, then letting them set for 3 minutes. Yummy!!

20. by Rooster on Feb 21, 2010 at 9:28 AM PST

HI there, I just tried oat groats for the first time. All I can say is good bye to oatmeal!!!! I love the texture and flavor. Groats, where have you been all of my life?

21. by anonymous on Mar 26, 2010 at 9:10 AM PDT

I just tried some groats. I must say, I didn’t care for the taste. However, I just wanted to share how I cooked them. It took 15 minutes in the microwave using my rice/pasta steamer. This one is a Miracle Ware I think I picked up at a Walmart for under $10. It makes perfect rice in 15 minutes, followed by a 5 minute rest for steaming. And a 10 minute artichoke turns out the best I have ever tasted.

Just thought others might be interested in the speed, which translates to less electricity, this handy little thing operates at, while not loosing quality. My other favorite tool is the pressure cooker.

22. by anonymous on Apr 13, 2010 at 6:27 AM PDT

I work for a company called Cayuga Pure (located in New York)! We sell Groats, Spelt, Freekeh, Farro, Wheat Berries, Rye, and so much more! Find us on the web and check us out! You can also purchase our products!!!


23. by anonymous on Apr 13, 2010 at 7:25 AM PDT

wow no way that is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11one

24. by anonymous on Apr 18, 2010 at 6:24 AM PDT

You can order oat grouts through a co-op like country life. Very affordable and in bulk if needed! :D http://www.clnf.org/

25. by Jay Edgar on Oct 15, 2010 at 4:25 AM PDT

I love oat groats for breakfast! I simply measure 2 pts groats to 3 pts water.

26. by anonymous on Jan 12, 2011 at 1:05 AM PST

I was thrilled to see this page! Being Japanese of course I have a rice cooker. And I just discovered groats recently and I LOVE THEM! Groats are perfect for my weightlifting regiment since they have a nice long burn they give me a lot of energy for a long time. Gosh, those pictures look fab. I am going to rush out and get some strawberries, cranberries and nuts!

27. by anonymous on Jan 12, 2011 at 1:06 AM PST

Can anyone tell me why I’m paying more for groats and processed oats?

28. by s.c. on Mar 21, 2011 at 12:48 AM PDT

“Can anyone tell me why I’m paying more for groats and processed oats?” supply and demand, there is less of a demand which means that they aren’t mass produced and mass packaged which means they cost more. Also, the people buying oat groats are often looking or other qualities that drive the cost up. Such as organic and that sort of thing. I plan on buying organic oat groats from Sunrise flour Mill for my breakfasts and their organic flaked oats (no heat is used, which means they taste better?) for the “instant” packets I make for hubby. I can’t say where they stand on the price comparison to other brands, I’ve just heard good things about that mill.

Clever captcha by the way, it’s easier to use than most. I’m not squinting or hitting refresh over and over.

29. by Annette Huang on Mar 26, 2011 at 11:27 PM PDT

I bought oat groats and cooked them in a slow cooker. I loved the taste but eating them was a trial as every mouthful had a handful of “toenails” (seed overs). Has anyone a simple and quick method for removing these before cooking?

30. by anonymous on Nov 19, 2011 at 10:49 PM PST

Great tute. The last pic is beautiful. I have a Zoj too, it’s a Zoj party over here.

31. by anonymous on Mar 12, 2012 at 2:39 PM PDT

Hi, good post, thanks. You have the same ‘fuzzy’ cooker as us, and we love it. Just have one suggestion for you, if you haven’t tried it, with regard to the oat groats: to improve flavor and digestability, soak them in a 1:1 ratio of oats to water and add a Tbsp. of buttermilk, kefir or yogurt to the soaking water. Soak oats, covered, at room temperature for 12 hours or so prior to cooking and then reduce the cooking water by a third. I start the next day’s oats soaking at breakfast, rinse them at bedtime and then add the oats and cooking water to the fuzzy dude so they’re ready for breakfast the next morning. Occasionally, I’ll mix quinoa with the oats to change things up a bit. Nice to meet another ‘groat’ fan. :)

32. by anonymous on Jun 12, 2013 at 6:46 AM PDT

I too used to think it was necessary to add an acidic medium like kefir/yogurt/vinegar etc. to soak grains because of the “dangers” of phytic acid. What I realized though from researching pubmed is that the acid actually causes most of the beneficial minerals to leach out of the grains so yes, you are left with less phytic acid, but you are also left with less of everything else as well...

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