Barley is easy to cook on the stove! Just simmer with water and you have a tasty whole grain that can be used in a variety of ways.
Bulk Item Used: Barley
Confession: I was super slow to hop on the Instant Pot train. It just seemed like another appliance taking up space in my kitchen. I eventually did cave and got one about 5 years after everyone else I knew had one. Turns out I do love it, and it’s especially handy when making so many of the items I find in the bulk section (aka the ingredients that inspire this blog).
Today’s post however, shows that life can still go on without an Instant Pot. Barley is just as easy to make on the stove and comes out just as tasty. In fact, it even has an advantage over cooking it in the instant pot.
Tips for Cooking Barley on the Stove
- Cooking barley on the stove gives you the advantage of having more control over the finished texture of the grain. Sometimes barley is great with a chewier consistency, like in a salad. Other times you might prefer it softer and mushy, my favorite way to eat it for breakfast. When cooking on the stove, you can easily remove the lid and sample how the grain is doing. Want it softer? Just add more water and simmer longer.
- Always rinse barley before adding it to the pot. This will remove any dust or dirt that has accumulated on the grains. It will also remove some extra starch from the grains. This starch makes the end result grains stickier. The first time I made barley I didn’t rinse first and the result was a gelatinous blob of grains. I wasn’t a fan.
- There are 2 types of barley you could be making: hulled barley or pearl barley. It’s important to know which one you have because the cooking time is different for the two. Pearl barley has had an extra layer removed from the top of the grain, resulting in a quicker cook time and softer texture. Hulled barley cooks longer and is chewier. Want to learn more about barley and how to use it? Check out “A Complete Guide to Cooking with Barley.”
- When cooking barley, use 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of dry barley. (This is where you want to start, but you can always add a bit more water towards the end of simmering if you a softer grain, or are using hulled barley.
- One cup of dry barley will make approximately 3 1/2 cups of cooked barley.
How to Cook Barley on the Stove
- 1 cup dry barley pearl or hulled
- 3 cups water
- Rinse the dry barley grains under cold water to remove any dirt and excess starch.
- Add water and dry barley to pot on the stove. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Lower the heat to a simmer and COVER the pot. Pearl Barley will simmer for about 25 mins, while hulled barley will need 40.
- After the required time, remove the lid and check the barley for desired chewiness. If you'd like it softer, add a little water and continue to simmer until water is absorbed. (If too much water is added and the grain reaches desired texture, drain the excess water).
- Fluff with a fork and enjoy!