A few faqs on making oatmeal in the slow cooker:
There are a few things to keep in mind when you are cooking oatmeal in a slow cooker. The most important is to use steel-cut oats and not rolled oats. Steal cut can hold up to an 8 hour plus cooking time much better than rolled oats. I’ve heard horror stories of waking up to burnt rolled oats.
If you are concerned about clean up, spray the crock with a little oil before adding the ingredients. But be aware that even if you spray your crock with oil some oatmeal will still stick to the sides. To clean it out simply fill it with water in the morning. It will come out easily that evening. I fill mine with water, then drain off the excess water and give my dog the oatmeal that was stuck to the sides. She loves it and it’s good for her coat.
Unfortunately slow cookers run at different temperatures depending on age and manufacturer. So there is some trial and error in getting everything just right for your slow cooker. I have one newer model that I add some extra water to and 2 others that use this recipes just fine as is. If you think you might sleep in go ahead and add a little extra water then too.
You can also use almond, soy, rice, or coconut milk as your liquid. Just be mindful that if you are using applesauce (or dried cranberries) and it has citric acid or lemon juice it will make your oatmeal a curdled mess. So make sure to check the ingredients before adding.