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How To Cook Barley In The Rice Cooker – You Won’t Cook Any Other Way

Barley has a taste all in itself, and you either like it or you don’t.

The thing is, after a hard day, you don’t want to come home and get the pots and pans out, boil water on the stove etc, to cook some barley.

Let me give you some good news! Barley can be cooked in the rice cooker. Did you just gasp?

How good is that! Cooking barley just got a whole lot better and easier.

Let’s check out exactly how to cook barley in the rice cooker.

How To Cook Barley In The Rice Cooker

To cook barley in the rice cooker add 2 ½ cups of fresh water in with each cup of barley that you add. Once the rice cooker is finished, after 35 to 45 minutes, you can then fluff with a fork.

What Is Barley?

Barley is high in protein and fiber and brings so many health benefits.

Barley is a whole grain that is one of the first cultivated grains.

When barley is cooked, it has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture. Barley soup is very common and a favorite to many.

Different Varieties Of Barley

There are many types of barley, such as hulled barley, hulless barley, barley grits, and barley flakes.

The covered barley is not eatable and extremely tough. You can remove the outer shell of the barley so you can eat it.

Hulled Barley

Hulled barley is also called dehulled barley.

This type is a whole grain that comes with its shell removed. The healthiest type of cereal is hulled barley which is fiber-rich and chewy. 

This is a longer cooking type of barley.

Barley Grits

This type of barley is created by removing the outer shell and cutting it into very fine pieces.

Barley Flakes

This might just remind you of rolled oats.

The reason for this is the fact barley flakes are actually made the same way that rolled oats are. They are steamed, then rolled, and dried up.

This type of barley cooks faster due to the largest surface area.

Pearl Barley

Pearl barley is polished and has the seed and outer shell removed.

These are actually not whole-grain barley. While they are refined, they are actually the healthier option than many other refined grains.

This variety cooks faster than the whole grain or hulled barley.

This is the type of barley that you will often find at the market.

Cooking Barley In The Rice Cooker

Let’s find out how to make barley in the rice cooker and everything you need to get started.

You need one cup of pearl barley with two and ½ cups of water.

A pinch of taste for taste if you prefer.

First, you need to rinse the barley using fresh, clean water until it is rinsed clean. Using a strainer, drain all the water away.

Now pour 2 ½ cups of water into the rice cooker with some salt to taste. Add your pearl barley into the water and give it a stir. Turn the cooker on and let it go through one cycle.

Open the cooker and carefully take out the inside pot.

The barley should rest inside for 15 minutes. Fluff the barley up with your fork.

The barley can be served and eaten, or you can add it to your recipe.

Health Benefits Of Barley

Barley has plenty of nutrients, and they help out your energy levels.

Vitamin B and niacin are included in barley which both are important for our body to turn into energy.

Niacin is good for our skin, the nervous system, and the digestive system.  

The grain is loaded with minerals, including manganese keeping the body running, selenium that supports thyroid health, plenty of iron and phosphorous, for bones.


Cooking is hard sometimes, and we don’t want to be getting hot and bothered cooking in the kitchen.

The rice cooker is an all-around talent: you can steam veggies, tamales and even prepare pancakes in a rice cooker!

With a rice cooker and some barley, you can set it and forget, leaving you with more time put your feet up and relax.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cooking Barley

Do You Need To Wash Barley Before Cooking?

You don’t need to rinse the barley. Some people just prefer to wash it to ensure it is clean.

Is Barley Healthier Than Rice?

Barley has twice the fiber and calcium and fewer calories than brown rice. However, brown rice has more vitamin E and five times extra folate.  Both are equal when it comes to fat content and protein levels. Both are just as healthy for you in different ways.