As I’m sure you aware the Zojirushi Rice Cooker is one of the best you can get but what if you want to substitute rice for barley? Can the Zorjirushi do that?
Absolutely. Cooking barley in a rice cooker is very easy. Cooked barley has a nutty, pleasant flavor that goes well with Japanese-style dishes such as sukiyaki and donburi (rice bowls).
However, you should note that the cooking times will vary from those for white rice. Cooking barley in your rice cooker is similar to cooking quinoa, oatmeal, or brown rice.
So barley may take longer than rice to cook, so you’ll need to experiment to determine the best way to cook a particular type of barley in your rice cooker.
On the other hand, if you have a Zojirushi rice cooker, you’re in luck, as it features a “Brown Rice” setting that tackles this problem.
How To Cook Barley In Your Zojirushi Rice Cooker
Lots of people are using the Zojirushi rice cooker to cook barley. To cook it properly, prepare 1 cup of barley for every two people in the meal.
You will need to carefully read the instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure that you are using the appropriate type of barley, as well as the correct amount.
Water must also be added at a specific ratio for this type of cooking to ensure that the barley cooks properly.
That being said, it’s pretty much the same as cooking rice. Just add the water to barley ratio as recommended on the packet of barley you purchased. And then it is as simple as selecting the brown rice setting on your Zojirushi and pressing start.
Here is just one example from the many videos showing you how to cook barley in a rice cooker. This also has its own recipe with added ingredients…
How Long Do You Cook Barley For?
Cooking barley in your rice cooker is a simple process that takes less than 30 minutes.
However, while cooking barley is easy, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your barley turns out perfect.
The most important factor in cooking the perfect batch of barley is cooking time – different types of barley have different cooking times, so always check with your manufacturer.
Unfortunately, there is no standard answer to this question. Cooking times can vary depending on the amount of barley and other ingredients being used, whether or not all the water is absorbed during cooking, the variety of barley, and other assorted factors.
A general rule of thumb is that cooking time should be doubled if using quick-cooking barley instead of regular pearl barley, more liquid should be used if you’re cooking with more than 3 cups of barley.
Do I Need To Soak Barley Before Cooking?
Basically, if the barley you buy says to soak it then soak it. If it doesn’t say soak prior to cooking then don’t.
Most people still like to at least rinse the barley before cooking.
Generally speaking, pearl barley doesn’t need to be soaked but other types of barley will need soaking.
If you want to prepare it in a rice cooker, you may have noticed that some bags of barley say “soak prior to cooking” while others have no such warning. This is because different brands cook barley differently.
If you’re using a packet of barley that doesn’t say to “soak prior to cooking”, you can skip the soaking—your rice cooker will cook it just fine.
If your bag does say to soak prior to cooking, then there’s no need to worry—your barley will soften up in the moisture overnight.
Why Do You Have To Soak Barley?
Barley is one of the oldest cultivated grains in history. Since it has such tough outer husks, the barley has to be presoaked before cooking.
Soaking the barley overnight helps it cook faster, which is important if you’re making it for breakfast.
The pre-soaking process is used to avoid the problem of rapid fermentation when steaming or cooking barley. It also makes it easy to remove grains from the husk.
Pre-soaking is effective for all types of barley, however, there are some exceptions in terms of the water to grain ratio and soaking time required. Please refer to specific instructions for each type of barley.
Is Barley Healthier Than Rice?
As usual, when it comes to dietary advice there are a million different opinions depending on what camp you are in.
People have been eating rice for thousands of years and it has many health benefits however if you come from the low carb diet angle then rice is evil because it has too many carbs.
Instead of comparing the two, we can say for sure that barley has many benefits…
Barley is a rich source of insoluble fiber, which is important for digestive health.
Barley’s high soluble fiber content slows the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream, and lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Barley is a great source of fiber, protein, and nutrients, including folate, iron, magnesium, and selenium. In addition, barley is low on the glycemic index, making it a great choice for those watching their weight or trying to keep their blood sugar levels in check.
Can I Cook Other Grains In A Rice Cooker?
Most rice cookers are capable of cooking other grains, but you should be aware that different grains have different cook times.
For example, brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice. Barley is a whole grain, and whole grains, such as barley, generally take longer to cook than other grains.
You should check your rice cooker’s manual to find out how long it takes to cook barley, and then add about 10 minutes to that cooking time.
But at the end of the day rice is a grain so a rice cooker is an ideal appliance for cooking other grains as well.
The only differences between the grains as far as cooking is concerned is the length and the thickness of the grain which may vary the amount of water and/or cooking time for each grain type.
And of course, in the case of barley, some of them can have a harder outer shell that may also impact cooking times and may need pre-soaking as well.
So once again, yes – cooking any type of grain in your rice cooker is not only possible they taste great as well.
In summary, Barley has a shorter, firmer hull than most rice grains and is still the preferred choice for use in soups, salads, and even desserts.
Zojirushi makes cooking with barley a breeze with their line of easy-to-use products. Taste the Difference!
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