Pot barley has been pearled for a shorter amount of time and still has most of the barley bran intact.
Pearl and pot barley taste pretty much the same and can be used interchangeably in almost any recipe. The only important difference is that pot barley takes longer to cook, so make sure to adjust the cooking time when making a substitution.
- 1 cup pearl or pot barley, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups water or stock
- pinch of salt (or to taste)
- To cook barley, first rinse the barley until the water runs clear. Transfer the barley into a saucepan. Add the water and a pinch of salt. (You will be able to adjust the salt content later in the cooking process).
- Over medium-high heat, bring it to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook.
- Make sure to check on it a few times during cooking. Barley tends to foam and can easily spill over. So you might have to adjust the heat or move the lid to the side to let the steam out.
- Cook pearl barley for around 35 minutes and pot barley for around 50 minutes. Barley is done when the grain has absorbed all or almost all the water, expanded in size, and is soft but chewy.
- When barley is cooked, you might still have a small amount of liquid left at the bottom of the saucepan. To make sure the liquid is fully absorbed, turn off the heat, stir the barley, cover the saucepan and let it stand for another 5 to 10 minutes.