Steel-cut oats are whole grain groats (the inner portion of the oat kernel) which have been cut into only two or three pieces by steel rather than being rolled. They are golden in color and resemble small rice pieces.
Steel-cut oats are also known as coarse-cut oats, pinhead oats, or Irish oats. This form of oats takes longer to prepare than instant or rolled oats due to its minimal processing, typically 15-30 minutes to simmer (much less if pre-soaked). The flavor of the cooked product is described as being chewier and nuttier than instant oats.
Scottish Oats or Scottish Oatmeal are sometimes confused with steel-cut oats. Scottish Oats are steamed steel-cut oats that are then ground by stones into an oat meal.