This simple guide will teach you how to cook barley perfectly every time! You can use hulled barley or pearled barley (I personally prefer the no-fuss, quick cooking pearl barley). Hulled barley will benefit from soaking in water for a few hours before cooking, and it will take longer to cook than pearl barley.
1cupbarley,I used this pearl barley (hulled barley will also work in this recipe)
3cupswater (or broth)
Parsley, for garnish (optional)
If using pearled barely, you do not need to soak it (skip to the next step). If you are using hulled barley, you have the option to soak the grains in water for a while before cooking. To soak the hulled barley, place 1 cup dry barley grains in a large bowl and add 3 cups of water. Set aside to soak for a few hours or up to overnight.
Boil 3 cups of water or broth and add 1 cup of barley. Season with a big dash of kosher salt.
Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed (or mostly absorbed) and the barley is tender with a slightly chewy texture (about 25 to 30 minutes for pearl barley and up to 1 hour for hulled barley). Drain.
Fluff the cooked pearl barley with a fork. Add parsley for garnish, if using.
Dry vs. cooked barley conversion: 1 cup of dry barley will yield about 3 cups of cooked barley.
Does barley need to be soaked? Pearl barley does not need to be soaked. Hulled barley can benefit from soaking for a few hours before cooking.
How to store cooked barley: Store barley in the fridge in an airtight container. It will keep for about 3 days. You can also store it in a freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to 1 month. To reheat, defrost barley in the refrigerator overnight. Then, add the barley to a saucepan on the stove with a few tablespoons of water. Cover and warm over medium-high heat for a few minutes until heated through.
Where to buy barley? Check out our barley and other grains via our online shop.