Tips for Cooking Barley to Make It Just a Little Bit Better

Updated on February 28, 2020
Kathryn Vercillo profile image

Kathryn studies and writes about health, nutrition, and food safety.

This article will provide some tips on how to improve your cooking of barley.
This article will provide some tips on how to improve your cooking of barley.

Barley is a terrific food. Unfortunately, a lot of people choose not to eat barley, because they aren't quite sure how to cook it. This is too bad, because it's actually really easy to cook barley. And there are some little tips that you can implement to get a better taste without spending a lot of time or money on fancy barley recipes.

What Is Barley and Why Should We Eat It?

Barley is a type of grain that is really good for you. It is rich in protein, which is something that your body needs. It is filled with fiber, which helps your digestive system. It is a fat-free cholesterol-free food that is believed to be helpful in lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease. It tastes a lot like brown rice but is a bit different in texture, which means it gives you a new option for broadening your personal menu horizons.

Basic Method of Cooking Barley

Cooking barley is actually really simple. It's a lot like cooking brown rice. All that you need to do is combine the barley with water in a pot, bring the water to a boil, and then cover it and let it simmer. You should use approximately 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of barley. After it has boiled, lower the heat and place the cover on your pot. At that point, it should take about 30 minutes for the barley to absorb the water and be ready to eat. You can strain the barley at the end to remove any excess water.

Additional Tips for Cooking Barley

Some of the things that you can do to cook barley in a manner that might taste a little bit better to you include:

  • Allow the barley to steam after you have strained it. Let the barley sit in the pot, covered but with the heat off, for about 10 minutes before you serve it.
  • Fluff the barley before you serve it. This is a simple little cooking tip that you should implement with all of the rices and grains that you cook on your stovetop.
  • Consider using a rice cooker instead of cooking your barley on the stovetop. Many people find that they can cook barley in a rice cooker using the same method as when cooking rice and that it's simpler for them to make and enjoy barley this way.
  • Instead of using water when boiling barley on the stovetop, consider using vegetable broth or chicken broth. This will give the barley a much richer flavor. Of course, you'll be adding some calories, but this isn't necessarily unhealthy.
  • Soaking your barley overnight before you cook it will reduce the amount of time it takes to actually cook it. This is similar to cooking dried beans or other rice.
  • You can actually choose to sauté your barley instead of boiling it. This is done when you are trying to make a more advanced dish like barley risotto.


Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    lorraine arams 

    10 years ago

    Thanks - I've been looking for something like this for a while but I guess barley is not exactly a "buzz" word - at least not yet - very helpful -

  • ethel smith profile image

    Ethel Smith 

    10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

    My mum cooked barley a lot when we were kids. Useful hub

  • Russell-D profile image


    10 years ago from Southern Ca.

    I’m your latest fan, because like you, I love food. As I read your hubs, I noted a similarity between experiences my wife and I enjoyed, described in the HUB Chapters of my book “A La Carte”; Tales Of Food & Drink Digested From 55 Years of International Travel. (Russell-D). Funny how recipes passed generation to generation world-wide are now being given new looks and new flavor combinations by young, inspired chefs in every country. To me when “new” works, it always opens new taste possibilities. Though I’m an 82 year old food-junkie, I still believe somewhere out there exists for me that dish of which there never was better. I know I’ll never find it, but the looking, the tasting and the enjoying along the way keeps the search ever interesting. David Russell.

  • skye2day profile image


    10 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Fantastic hub. I came over to see what was cookin. I am grateful I did. Barley sooo... good for us. Thank you.

    I would have never thought of barley but a great tip. Hugs and Love

  • Wendy Krick profile image

    Wendy Henderson 

    10 years ago from Cape Coral

    I've never cooked it by itself. But I always add it to beef soup. Great Hub.

  • K9keystrokes profile image

    India Arnold 

    10 years ago from Northern, California

    Barley is making a come-back lately. It has many forgotten qualities including its health and fiber attributes. So glad you wrote about it! The tips are great and I love the barley risotto idea.

    Thanks for the read. Voting up.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)