Wheat berries are a healthy whole grain with a lovely flavor. Traditionally, wheat berries can take a long time to cook, but when made in an Instant Pot the time is significantly reduced. Plus, it’s amazingly easy!
What are Wheat berries?
Wheat Berries are the short hard kernels that are ground up to make wheat flour. They are PACKED with nutrition, including 6 grams of protein, 38% of your daily iron and tons of fiber. They also happen to be low in fat and calories. Wahoo!
If you’d like to learn more about wheat berries nutrition and how to cook with them, check out my comprehensive guide to wheat berries. There’s lots of fun stuff to learn about this healthy whole grain.
Wheat berries have a pretty mild flavor, similar to oatmeal. They easily blend with and take on other flavors. Wheat berries, however, are chewier than other grains you might be use to eating. When I first started eating them, it was the texture that I had to get use to eating not the taste.
How to Cook Wheat Berries in the Instant Pot
Probably the only downside to wheat berries is how long they take to cook. If made traditionally on the stove, they can sometimes take up to 1 hour and 30 minutes. That’s too long for me if I’m hoping to make them for breakfast. Using a pressure cooker, however, takes only 35-40 minutes. Here’s how to do it.
First, give the wheat berries a good rinse.
It’s a good idea to rinse wheat berries under cool water before cooking. This washes away any dirt, dust or extra starch that has collected on them in storage.
Next, put the wheat berries and water into the Instant Pot.
I use a ratio of 1 cup wheat berries to 3 cups water when cooking in the Instant Pot. You can adjust depending on how many cooked wheat berries you desire. 1 cup of dried wheat berries will be a little over 2 cups cooked.
Add a dash or two of salt, if desired. You could also add other spices in if desired, like cinnamon and nutmeg.
Then, place the lid on the pressure cooker.
Cook the wheat berries on high pressure for 30-35 minutes, depending on how chewy you like them to be. At the end of cooking, quick release the pressure.
Finally, drain the liquid and enjoy!
Before draining off extra liquid, do a taste test on your wheat berries. If they are the right texture for you, drain the water and enjoy!
If you’d like them to be softer you can continue to cook them in the Instant pot on the saute setting. Cancel the pressure cook and change the Instant Pot to the saute setting. You will need to stir occasionally to prevent burning. Leave the lid of and allow the wheat berries to boil until they’ve reached your desired chewiness. Drain any extra liquid and enjoy.
How do I know when they are done?
It really does come down to personal preference. Most people I know don’t like the texture of really chewy grains. So if you sample your cooked wheat berries and you think they seem a little too tough, cook them a little longer. They will never get as soft as oatmeal or rice, but the longer you cook them the softer they will get.
- There are different varieties of wheat berries and cook times can vary depending on the type you have. For example, red berries tend to take a little longer than white. While soft berries cook faster than hard. For more information about the different varieties of wheat berries, check out our comprehensive guide to wheat berries.
- It is sometimes suggested to soak wheat berries overnight before cooking them. This is a great idea to help reduce cook time when cooking wheat berries on the stove. When cooking in the pressure cooker, however, it is not necessary.
- Cooked wheat berries can easily be frozen. It’s a great idea to make a large batch and freeze portions so you can always have a healthy whole grain ready to go. Make sure your cooked wheat berries are completely cool before transfering to a freezer friendly container. (Making sure they are completely cool will help prevent freezer burn). Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- 1 cup of dry wheat berries equals 2 cups of cooked wheat berries.
Wheat Berry Recipes
Looking for ways to use your cooked wheat berries? Check out my wheat berry Pinterest board for lots of inspiration.
Easy Instant Pot Wheat Berries
- 1 cup dry wheat berries
- 3 cups water
- Rinse wheat berries under cool, clean water to remove excess starch and dust.
- Add the wheat berries and water into the bowl of the Instant pot. Add a dash or two of salt, if desired. You could also add other spices in if desired, like cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the lid to seal. Cook the wheat berries on high pressure for 30-35 minutes, depending on how chewy you like them to be. The longer you cook them, the softer they will be.
- When the timer goes off, quick release the pressure and test your wheat berries. If they are the right texture for you, drain the water and enjoy!
- If you’d like them to be softer you can continue to cook them in the Instant Pot on the saute setting. Cancel the pressure cook and change the Instant Pot to the saute setting. You will need to stir occasionally to prevent burning. Leave the lid of and allow the wheat berries to boil until they’ve reached your desired chewiness. Drain any extra liquid and enjoy.
- 1 cup of dry wheat berries equals about 2 cups of cooked wheat berries. You can adjust this recipe according to how many cooked wheat berries you need. The cooking ratio is 3 cups of water to every 1 cup of dry wheat berries.
Need a Pressure Cooker?
There are a lot of great options out there, but the Instant Pot Ultra is my favorite. I love being able to make yogurt in it!
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I hope you love your wheat berries!