How To Cook Barley


What Is Barley?

Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is a well-known cereal grain from the same family members as wheat. It is the fourth most produced grain in the world. As a plant, barley has the best variety of appropriate growing range of any type of grain. It is grown in desert-like conditions in North Africa, and also in cold, damp areas of western Europe and also North America, however, the greatest producers worldwide are Russia, Germany, France, as well as Ukraine. Since there is a variety of barley available in the market now, many people find it challenging to get familiar with how to cook barley.

how to cook barley
How To Cook Barley

The sort of barely we’re most used to seeing at the grocery store is pearled barley. Like white rice, pearled barley has been refined to eliminate its nourishing outer bran layer and internal germ layers, leaving simply the carb-rich and tender endosperm. Barley is also offered as a whole grain. The most common barley is pot barley which contains about 7% to 15% of the entire grain.

History of Barley

Barley is potentially the oldest cultivated cereal grain, going back to 8,000 BCE Syria where it was first collected then later domesticated. Wild barley (formerly called Hordeum spontaneum, currently classed with cultivated barley) has additionally had origins in North Africa and in western to south-central Asia. It also precedes the growth of rice in the Indus valley.

Barley was a crucial staple grain in the Mediterranean till the last centuries BCE, when leavened bread, ideally made with high-gluten wheat, ended up being preferred even more. Meanwhile, Egypt remained to count on barley, alongside extra pricey wheat. Barley bread was utilized for trenchers in Europe and also remained to be the most-produced kind of bread there till the sixteenth century. Despite such a rich history of barley, many people do not know how to cook barley.

how to cook barley
How To Cook Barley

In addition to bread, Europeans included barley in soups, stews, porridge, and also alcohol. In China, barley was particularly essential in locations not well fit for expanding rice. It was steamed, made into cakes, or utilized as a sweetener, later ending up being the primary sugar of Japan. It is quite understandable that the cooking methods have greatly evolved due to which it is important to get familiar with how to cook barley.

Although barley has a history as a staple food in many parts of the globe, it’s currently been upstaged by various other grains practically everywhere besides Tibet, where Tibetans consume even more barley than anywhere else on the planet.

Types of Barley

Barley differs not only in the degree of processing after harvest but also in the characteristics of the plant itself.


Hulless barley selections (aka “naked” barley), such as those found in Tibet, are the type of grains that are so freely affixed to their inedible hulls that hull merely diminishes throughout harvesting. That means that hulled barley can be marketed with no type of processing.


Covered barley is more prevalent than the hulless barley. It is important to get rid of the hull while handling this type of barley.

how to cook barley
How To Cook Barley


The very first barley grown was two-eared. It is cultivated in many parts of the world.


Beremeal is a type of four-row barley found in Scotland and also made right into a flatbread called bannock (and also beer).


The most important barley in Medieval Europe was six-rowed barley (high in protein).

Is Barley Gluten-Free?

Before learning how to cook barley, you should be familiar with the fact that all barley consists of much less healthy protein (and less gluten) than wheat. It simply means that barley itself is not gluten-free, so if you are gluten intolerant, you might not be able to consume barley/

What Are the Qualities of Barley?

Barley flour can take in twice the amount of water as wheat, as well as when utilized in leavened slices of bread, it provides a thick texture. Bread made from barley likewise wither quickly due to the fact that they do not have gluten structure to hold in moisture. Pearled barley will certainly leech starch right into its cooking liquid, enlarging soups and also making velvety risotto.

how to cook barley
How To Cook Barley

What Are the Health Advantages of Barley?

You should learn how to cook barley because it is a good source of carbohydrates, including starch; pentosans, the very same sugars that make rye sticky; and glucans, known for making oats gelatinlike. Whole-grain barley is likewise a good source of nutritional fiber since it has high fiber content, some protein, calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. Contrasted to soft, light pearled barley, whole barley has a nutty taste as well as chewy appearance, similar to wheatberries, quinoa, or brown rice.

7 Ways to Make Use of Barley in the Cooking area

You should know how to cook barley because it can be used in a variety of dishes. While barley is high in carbs but it is low in gluten, so it’s commonly used to make flatbreads. Most of today’s barley harvest is grown for animal feed and to make malt for beer, yet there are still vital culinary uses for barley:

1. Tsampa. The staple food of Tibet, tsampa is a porridge made from toasted barley flour, combined with salty butter tea.

2. Barley water. Barley water is made from water extra from boiling barley, sweetened, and also often seasoned with orange or lemon.

3. Barley flour. Barley flour can be made use of for cooking, usually in combination with wheat flour, for pancakes and buns.

4. Barley grits. Husked barley grains that are toasted as well as broken make an excellent morning meal gruel, or they can be cooked like corn grits.

how to cook barley
How To Cook Barley

5. Barley paste. Barley can be used to make Japanese miso paste, instead of rice.

6. Barley pilaf. A heartier variation of the traditional rice recipe, barley pilaf is high in fiber web content. Chicken broth and also olive oil complete the full-flavored dish which can be served as a side meal or as the base of a grain salad. Once you have learned how to cook barley, you should definitely try this out.

7. Beer. Barley has been used to make beer because of the 3rd millennium BCE, in Egypt, Babylon, as well as Sumeria. Barley is the recommended grain for making beer due to the fact that it generates a lot of starch-digesting enzymes, forming fermentable sugars that then become alcohol. In beer-making, the germination of barley grains is called malting.

How to Cook Barley on the Stovetop

Whole-grain barley takes longer to prepare than pearl barley. It is finely cooked when it is pre-soaked for a couple of hours to cut down the cooking time. Knowing about stovetop methods is important to learn how to cook barley. Both of these types of barleys can be cooked by different methods, including in a slow-moving stove or pot on the stovetop:

How to Cook Barley by Stovetop absorption method?

Wash barley in a fine-mesh sieve under cold running water. Incorporate one cup barley with 3 mugs water and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. (Conversely, utilize poultry stock or vegan brew.) You should boil it over high heat and lower to a simmer after a while. Keep cooking till barley is tender yet crunchy. You can do this process for 25 to 30 minutes for pearl barley, 40 to 50 for hulled barley. Include a little extra water if the frying pan dries. Drain barley if needed, and also fluff with a fork.

How to Cook Barley with Stovetop pasta method?

It is another popular method which you should know about to properly learn how to cook barley. In a huge stockpot, bring water to boil with a pinch of salt. Include barley and cook barley until it is tender yet crunchy. It should take about 25 to 30 minutes for pearl barley, 40 to 45 for hulled barley. Drain in a great mesh strainer and fluff with a fork.

how to cook barley
How To Cook Barley

How to Cook Barley in a Rice Cooker?     

Cook barley in the rice cooker just like you would cook brown rice. A suitable quantity of water should be added. Another important step of learning how to cook barley is making sure that you get the right barley from a store and storing it in a suitable manner. You should store barley in a dry, dark location, such as a cabinet, fridge, or freezer. Store prepared barley in an airtight container in the fridge for approximately a week, or in the fridge freezer for approximately 2 months.

The shelf life of barley relies on exactly how it’s been processed: Pearl barley and also parboiled barley last the longest. Like other whole grains, hulled barley will certainly get ruined much faster. Once you have learned how to cook barley, you can cook a variety of dishes with it.

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