in five: slow cooker irish oatmeal


I love everything about McCann’s Irish Oatmeal. The tin, the history, the nuttier taste. The only downside is I don’t always have time to stir the pot for half an hour while the steel cut oats cook. Thankfully, this recipe provides the perfect solution. Simply throw everything in your slow cooker the night before and nine hours later, you’ll wake up to a hot and healthy breakfast. I modified it slightly, skipping the half-and-half, figs and cranberries, and adding 1% milk and cinnamon and it still tasted great. — Sarah L.

Slow Cooker Irish Oatmeal
1 cup McCann’s steel cut oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried figs
4 cups water
1/2 cup half-and-half

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients and set to low heat. Cover and let cook for 8 to 9 hours. Stir and serve.

From our partners

Oh wow thanks, I am so totally on this. I have just had my eyes opened to oatmeal again for the first time in years, since I moved away from my Nana’s prep of the McCanns. I was taken in by the new quaker hearty whatever commercials and while those are OK for work lunch emergencies, it would feel wrong to eat such a thing at home with all the ability to actually you know, cook.

You can also do this in a rice-cooker. If you can set the timer, you can do it the night before and wake up to fresh steel cut oats. I do a 1:4 ratio of oats to water, and then add almond milk right before I eat it. Don’t forget a pinch of salt before you cook it.


Oh yum! I will definitely try this! I’ve been eating the instant McCann’s for breakfast for the last 2 years and just can’t seem to find the time to make the real stuff that’s sitting in the pantry ;) I may play around and add raisins and apples like Dad used to :D


This sounds great! We have 2 tins of McCann’s in our pantry and need to try something new other than just adding some hot H2O. :D

I clicked on the link excepting to be taken to a granola mama site and was surprised, but not really surprised, to see Alton Browns name next to the recipe. Of course it would be AB, The man who taught me the best bacon cooking technique and the best way to use power tools in the kitchen.

I was going to give it a try before I clicked the link, it sounds yummy.


I love oatmeal, but I’m the only one in the house who really does. How long would this stay good in the fridge?


My slow cooker doesn’t really do ‘slow’ for some reason, so I go with an even simpler option: oats + water in saucepan, bring to boil, turn off stove and leave oats covered overnight. Done.

@Fishpatrol – a cup of oats gives me about 5 breakfasts, so oatmeal is good in the fridge for at least that long.

Sarah L.

Fishpatrol, I’m the only one that eats it at my house, too. I just put it in smaller containers and eat it four or five mornings in a row. If there wasn’t milk in it, I’m sure you could safely stretch it longer than that.

shelterrific » Blog Archive » five things we learned last week

[…] A slow cooker finds the time to make steel cut Irish oatmeal when you can’t. Sarah L. shared Alton Brown’s convenient recipe for this otherwise inconvenient fan favorite. Susan says: “Oh yum! I will definitely try this! […]


Mine was burned by morning :(

Sarah L.

Michelle, bummer! I’m not sure what to suggest. My slow cooker either does great or burns things — no inbetween. I’d gladly trade it for my Mom’s ancient one in a heartbeat.

Good work

I’ve been trying to increase the quantity of whole oats, whole grains, and specifically, oatmeal in my diet.

I appreciate having this because it will provide an additional resource for me, and also additional encouragement!

Thanks again friend.



shelterrific » Blog Archive » real life test kitchen: homemade granola

[…] … something really filling, or super crunchy, to start my day. I’ve been eating a lot of Alton Brown’s recipe to make, and made a few tweaks to suit my taste. I have to say, it was pretty freakin tasty. […]

Roger S

I had the same problem Sarah, a tin of Irish Oatmeal in the cabinet which I never seemed to find time to fix. I have a small slow cooker and I cut the recipe in half since I’m only fixing breakfast for myself. If this works out I’ll consider buying another tin of the McCanns Oatmeal.
Thanks for sharing this.