Barley is an underrated grain that has been cooked ever since ancient times. It has many health benefits and can be cooked in many ways. Also, it is very popular every holiday season, especially in the wintertime, because of its sweet and savory aroma. Truthfully, nothing beats a hot barley soup that will make the most out of your day indeed.
Today, there are many innovations and new kitchen equipment that will give convenience to cooking, and a handy slow cooker is among them. Slow cookers are the best devices that will prepare you meals in advance. Now, the question remains, with the convenience of the slow cooker, can you cook barley in a slow cooker? Or perhaps it can make more flavorful barley dishes?
With that in mind, let’s focus on one thing – barley in a slow cooker. Let’s see what a slow cooker can do if we cook barley in it.
Can you cook barley in a slow cooker?
Preparing barley recipe is very easy and can be cooked with any equipment; how much more if, it is cooked in a slow cooker. Of course! Slow cookers can do wonders, and they can really make a flavorful and hearty barley soup. You can even make porridge and stews that will count your everyday blessings.
Cooking barley in a slow cooker is not complicated because all you need to do is get the barley, add some seasoning, and wait for the slow cooker to do its thing. Overall, you can always look forward to any barley recipe when your slow cooker does the cooking. Trust me, you won’t even regret it, and surely you will want more.
How long does it take to cook beef barley soup?
The best way to cook barley is to make soup out of it. Beef barley soup is sometimes referred to as a way to curb fever. Barley is nutritious, to begin with, and it contains fibers that can help get a healthy body. It can also provide energy that can sum up your day.
Adding it to make a soup will surely mesmerize you with its rich aroma and grainy bits. Having it cooked in a slow cooker will only take it to cook for 6 to 8 hours. In that way, you can prepare it before you sleep and wake up with a morning barley soup to start the day.
Why is pearl barley good for making barley soup?
Pearl barley is a kind of barley that is very similar to brown rice in terms of texture and size of the grains. This is very popular in making stews and soups because it gives the soup a rich finish and adds more flavor to it. Pearl barley is best to be cooked in a slow cooker since it can create a tasty and hot meal that can kickstart your day. It can provide the necessary nutrients to give you more energy to do daily tasks.
How long does it to cook pearl barley?
As previously mentioned, cooking pearl barley gives an energy boost to the body, and with a slow cooker, you can cook pearl barley for about an hour or two. Choose your desired serving, rinse it with water, give your slow cooker a touch of non-stick spray, and throw the pearl barley inside for that time to be fully cooked.
How to make barley chewier when cooking it in a slow cooker?
If you want to have a chewy bite with your barley, you don’t have to throw it immediately inside your slow cooker because it will make it mushy. To make it chewier, you need to add the barley for 1 to 2 hours before cooking the stew inside your slow cooker. Meaning to say, make the barley as an additional ingredient for your stew rather than cooking it wholly with the stew.
Is there a way to cook barley fast?
Yes! There is a way to cook barley fast in a slow cooker when you are really in a hurry. The moment that you need to cook barley in a fast manner, you need to pre-steam it first. Pre-steaming the barley will be pre-cooked the outside, making it quick to cook in the slow cooker. Doing so will take you about 15 minutes to pre-steam it, then add the pre-steamed barley to your slow cooker 20 to 25 minutes before your stew is about to be done.
Why add wine when cooking barley in the slow cooker?
Adding wine when cooking barley in the slow cooker is strongly suggested by most chefs and cooks worldwide. Doing so will add a deep flavor to the whole barley recipe, making it more delicious than normal. Having also your slow cooker cook the barley for hours will help it bring out the flavors much more. When selecting wine, you need to make sure what type of wine you will use because it totally brings out a different flavor if compared.
Is it possible to overcook barley?
Remember always that any type of grain can be overcooked fast. It doesn’t take a lot of time for it to get mushy or even burnt. Barley, of course, can be overcooked. When you add barley to stews or soups, it has the possibility of being overcooked and mushy if you let it cook for a longer time. Check your meal once in a while and see if the barley doesn’t bring a mushy mess. You will really dislike it once it has been cooked that way. Trust me!
Is it okay to freeze barley stew?
When it happens that you have leftovers from eating your barley dish, you can freeze them for storage. Any barley recipe can be frozen perfectly. However, do not let it stay in the fridge barehanded. Always get a container for it to avoid bacteria contamination. And once it is done, you can just leave it inside your fridge and reheat it with your microwave oven once you decide to finish it.
Do I need to soak barley in the water before cooking in the slow cooker?
Among types of grains, barley doesn’t need to be soaked with water because the slow cooker will make it tender upon cooking it inside. Your slow cooker will prevent the moisture from evaporating, thus making the barley become tender along the slow cooking process. However, you need to soak it beforehand or even overnight in some recipes. That is why you need to read the recipe first to understand the steps of the barley recipe that you are making.
Can I use raw and uncooked barley in the slow cooker?
Yes! You can use raw and uncooked barley in the slow cooker. For that, you will just cook it for 6 hours until it is done. Aside from that, you don’t need to pre-cook it because the slow cooker will do the cooking for you.
Which is better to cook in a slow cooker, hulled barley or pearl barley?
If you have the best 3-quarts slow cooker with you, the best barley to use is pearl barley! Due to the size of your slow cooker, it can only serve 4 to 5 people only. And that is why pearl barley is more applicable to cook than using hulled barley.
Hulled barley is the basic form of barley that has already been processed because the outer shell or husked has been removed. On the other hand, Pearl barley still has the outer husk intact, making it more grainy and full of fiber. The big difference between the two is the cooking time for it to be done. Pearl barley tends to cook for a shorter duration than hulled barley. That is why it suits best when cooking pearl barley in your 3 qt slow cooker.
Does barley absorb moisture when cooked in a slow cooker?
If you are engaged in making a broth rather than using liquid water, the barley will surely absorb a lot of moisture in the entire slow cooking process. With that, you are entitled to have extra and dried leftovers at the end. To solve this, you need to add broth when you want to eat it by reheating it again so it won’t dry out the food. Aside from that, it is suggested to cook the barley in a separate medium and add it to the slow cooker barley recipe within the last 10 to 15 minutes.
Does cooking barley in a slow cooker good for the health?
We all know that barley is a grain, and it contains fiber that helps the body to stay longer during the entire day. Even so, cooking barley in the slow cooker will make it improve more because it doesn’t reduce the nutrients. With that, it can retain the nutrient more to improve your overall body’s digestion and helps you run all day long.
How to make barley soup sweet when cooking it in a slow cooker?
When you want to make a barley soup, it is best to make it sweeter than savory. Making it sweet will enhance your appetite to eat more and become full. In doing so, you need to add spices such as cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, or cinnamon to make it sweet. Aside from that, you need to prepare your barley to be soaked in water and milk first to sweeten the grains.
How to make barley thicker and silkier when cooking it in a slow cooker?
If you want to have a thicker and silkier barley recipe, you need to add cornstarch to your cooking. Cornstarch is a thickener that will make your barley more thick and silky. However, this is if you want to make it thicker because cooking barley in a slow cooker will release the starch that comes out from the barley, and it will naturally thicken the stew or soup you are making. One other thing is that the more that you cook the barley longer in the slow cooker, the more it becomes silky and thick.
Everything has been set about cooking barley in the slow cooker. Surely, your slow cooker will bring wonders to your barley in the making. It will enhance the flavor of your barley, providing you with the best hot meal, whether you want a stew or make a soup out of it.
Give yourself a nice warm barley meal after a day’s work. You can also prepare it for the upcoming holidays. Cooking barley will serve more people, and totally it will be the best appetizer ever. That’s all you need to know about this underrated grain. And again, you can always cook barley in the slow cooker, making it more amazing in the end.