Thursday, June 27, 2013

Crockpot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal or Why Sometimes the Easy Way isn't the Best Way

As anyone who has read my blog in the past knows, I have a deep and heartfelt love for my Crockpot. I would give up most of my kitchen appliances if forced to over giving up this little kitchen marvel. When I come across appetizing Crockpot recipes I always pin them, hoping to expand my Crockpot repertoire. I came across one for overnight crockpot apple cinnamon oatmeal a few weeks ago and knew that I had to give it a try. The recipe comes from but like many pins the instructions were written in the comment section of the pin. The idea is pretty simple, just skin and cut up two apples and throw them in the bottom of the crockpot, put 1/3 a cup of brown sugar on top of the apples, sprinkle a teaspoon of cinnamon, two cups of oatmeal, and then 4 cups of water. The instructions say not to stir, then turn the crockpot on low and 8-9 hours later you are *supposed* to get tasty apple cinnamon oatmeal with not required morning effort.

I will admit to not using regular brown sugar but the Splenda blend (I would say it was to cut calories but honestly I didn't have any real brown sugar in the house). I will also admit to cutting the recipe in half because I am the only one in my house who eats oatmeal and two cups of this seemed like a lot. I did still use two apples because I figured it would make it extra appley and they were on the small side.

I always use crockpot liners (and was VERY glad I did but I'll get to that in a minute). Here is the apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Oats and water are now in the crockpot, heat is set to low, and timer is on for 9 hours. Now anyone who has Crockpot cooked knows that though the food is usually delicious, its appearance will not be the its strong suit. I have almost never seen anything that has come out of a crockpot be referred to as pretty. This oatmeal was no exception.
This is after 9 hours in the crockpot. The smell was not what I expected, I was expecting some wonderful apple cinnamon goodness and instead was hit by a funky bread smell. My husband likened it to a week cinnamon bread but I think that's being generous. I tried to scoop some out and the top had created a thick skin that was inedible and much of the bottom had burnt to the bag. This made only the middle section edible and taste wise it was bland and texture was awful.
The apples were almost tasteless with maybe just a hint of sweetness and even with all that brown sugar the mixture wasn't sweet at all. I had to add sugar just to make it palatable. I like oatmeal and apple cinnamon oatmeal is one of my favorites but this might possibly rank as the worst oatmeal I have had. I would have rather had a pouch of instant than this. I guess sometimes the easy way isn't always the best way. If anyone has any good crockpot oatmeal recipes I would love to hear them, or if you've tried this and it came out better for you.

Picture on the right from
The picture on the right is the aftermath in the crockpot, now you can see why I am glad I used the liner. I would have been scraping that craziness for days. I obviously threw the rest away and the bottom of the bag was black from all of the burnt oatmeal. A definite Pinterest Fail but it was a win for Reynolds Crockpot liners!


  1. What a bummer. I have tried a few things on pinterest that didn't come out either. Those rainbow cakes baked in mason jars that were all the craze last summer... I tried three times in the same day and then very angrily gave up.

  2. the problem is that you need to use Steel cut oats- not quick cook oats. 1 cup of those to 4 cups of liquid is a good proportion- i use coconut milk. Then brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla along with the apples- it comes out great. even my husband eats it.