Hot Cereal Cooking Chart

Hot Cereal Cooking Chart
Heat water and salt to boiling.

For quick oats, sprinkle them onto the boiling water and shake the pot a little bit to mix in the oatmeal. Lower the temperature. Don’t stir at any point. After a minute and a half remove from heat, cover, and let sit for about five minutes. This keeps the oatmeal a nice consistency.

For old-fashioned oats, you can bring water and salt to a boil and then add oats, or you can mix all ingredients together and bring to a boil, cooking for at least 5 minutes.

For cream of wheat, quickly stir into the boiling water with a wire whisk so it doesn’t form lumps, and then stir frequently for up to 10 minutes or until thickened but not
too thick.

For cracked wheat and steel cut oats, dump cereal in boiling water, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Or, make the night before: dump boiling water over the wheat or oats, stir, cover, and leave overnight. This won’t to go bad or ferment overnight, and it sure makes a nice breakfast, reheated in the microwave.

To make cereal more flavorful try using milk or juice (apple, peach, and so on) instead of water. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fruit, raisins, dried cranberries, etc., and 1-2 Tb. white sugar, brown sugar, syrup, or jam per serving to the cereal as it cooks. Cinnamon also adds a nice touch. If you use milk, you will need to stir the cereal constantly to avoid burning the milk. Powdered milk works fine and doesn’t need to be mixed beforehand if it is the instant kind; just add 1/3 cup powdered milk for every cup of water. Non instant powdered milk (cannery milk) should be mixed beforehand at the ratio of 3 Tb. of milk to 1 cup water. Some fruit does better if cooked longer, such as apples.


  1. We do steel cut (Irish) oatmeal in a mini crockpot overnight. Increase the water a bit, and put it on the lowest setting. Turn it on when you go to bed, and you'll wake up to an inexpensive, healthy, and substantial hot breakfast!

    1. Thanks for your comment! I know others in the family have eaten them, but I just bought my first package of steel cut oats last week! I'm looking forward to trying them.


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