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How To Cook Pearl Barley In a Rice Cooker

Cook your pearl barley in a rice cooker for an easy and healthy food prep ingredient. Store in the fridge or freeze for later use. Add your favorite broth, herbs and spices to level up this healthy grain that you need in your life right now.

A bag of barley.

What is pearled Barley?

Pearled barley is a whole grain that has had the tough outer hull removed. It does retain some of the wheat germ. It takes 25-30 minutes to cook on the stove-top but today I am cooking it in a rice cooker.

The liquid ratio is the same as the stove-top method. You can use either water or broth. I used broth along with a dollop of fermented bean paste known as Doenjang for extra flavor.

What Is The Difference Between Hulled Barley and Pearled Barley?

Hulled barley has had the tough hull removed but still has the germ which is full of vitamins and minerals. It is considered a whole grain and is even healthier than pearled barley. It is nuttier and chewier too. It absorbs less water and takes about 20 minutes longer to cook than pearled.

Hulled barley would be great in wraps, stir-fry or in salads. Hulled barley is also known by the terms of pot barley, scotch barley and barley groats.

A cup of barley.
Rinsing barley in a strainer.
Barley in a rice cooker.
Rice cooker with barley.
A cup of barley.

Add Pearled Barley To A Salad

Barley adds some nice chewy texture to a crunchy salad. Just add a little to any of your favorite salads for a nutty addition.

Salad ingredients.
A salad with barley.
Squeezing a fresh lime.

Make A Soup Out Of It

You can make a quick soup with some canned beans and your favorite broth for a healthy lunch alternative. Simply add some cooked barley to a simmering pot of broth and beans. Add some easy heft with the addition of leftover or canned meat.

Black beans, barley, canned ham and broth.
A bowl of soup with barley.

Barley is pretty versatile and easy to make. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days. These traits really make it ideal for food prepping on the weekends in order to have easy weekday or weeknight meals. You know, when you might be too busy or too tired to cook much.


  1. WILL BARLEY SPIKE MY BLOOD SUGAR? – Hulled barley has a low glycemic index which means sugar is released slowly into the blood stream. Pearled barley has a glycemic index of around 35 which is medium. Hulled barley is healthier but pearled barley is still a good choice for most people.
  3. IS BARLEY HEALTHY? – Both pearled and hulled barley contain many nutrients and has a good amount of soluble fiber. Hulled barley contains more nutrients and is considered even healthier than pearled barley.

Want to try new grains or how to cook more foods in your rice cooker? Check out the How to Cook Quinoa article to get answers to your hot burning questions.

Did you make this recipe?  Don’t forget to rate the recipe and comment below!  Take a picture and tag us @FusionCraftiness #FusionCraftiness on Instagram for a chance to be featured in our Insta Stories:)


A cup of barley.

How to Cook Pearled Barley in a Rice Cooker

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Cook your pearl barley in a rice cooker for an easy and healthy food prep ingredient. Store in the fridge or freeze for later use. Add your favorite broth, herbs and spices to level up this healthy grain that you need in your life right now.


  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 3 cups broth 

Optional Additions

  • fermented bean paste such as Doenjang or miso
  • salsa
  • sofrito
  • Sazon
  • diced onion
  • diced mushroom


  1. Rinse barley in a colander. Remove any debris that may be present.
  2. Place rinsed barley and broth in a rice cooker, add any optional additons, and cook according to rice cooker directions.
  3. After the rice cooker shuts off, keep covered and rest for an additional 5 minutes.


  1. I have a non-programmable rice cooker which is simple to use. If you have a programmable rice cooker, refer to the instruction manual for cooking barley.
  2. You may cook barley with plain water.
  3. Cooked barley is great as a food prep ingredient. It's easy to cook ahead and keeps well in the fridge. Add to soup, salad, wraps and stir frys.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 238Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 605mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 4gSugar: 20gProtein: 10g

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