Cooking Grains

How to cook grains for best results

Soaking your grains overnight or while you’re at work shortens their cooking time and encourages sprouting. To soak:

  1. Cover your grains completely with fresh water and drain them out after at least 7 hours.
  2. Add the amount of fresh water as indicated below to a pot and bring to a boil. Add soaked and drained grains and return the water to a simmer. Turn the heat down a little, cover and cook until tender.
  3. For the fluffiest grains, drain them through a sieve after cooking and spread them on a baking sheet to cool and dry before packing up and refrigerating.

Pre-soaking and Sprouting

Phytic acid is a natural substance found primarily in the bran of seeds. It stores phosphorous and also binds to minerals such as iron, magnesium calcium and zinc. These binds make it difficult for our bodies to absorb the important minerals and nutrients. When a seed begins to sprout, however, phytic acid is neutralized, and the same is true when grains are fermented. A a simple overnight soak begins the break down of complex starches, enzyme inhibitors, and other things for easier digestion.

Cooking Times



Cook Time

Barley, pearled 1 cup barley 3 cups water 45 to 60 minutes
Barley, hulled 1 cup barley 3 cups water 50-75 minutes
Kasha / Buckwheat Groats 1 cup groats 2 cups water 20 minutes
Einkorn 1 cup berries 2 cups water 30-40 minutes
Farro / Emmer 1 cup farro 2 cups liquid 20-45 minutes
Millet 1 cup millet 3 cups water 20 to 25 minutes
Oats, rolled 1 cup oats 3 cups water 10 to 15 minutes
Quinoa 1 cup quinoa 2 cups water 20 minutes (rinse well before cooking)
Rice, white 1 cup rice 2 cups water 15 to 20 minutes
Rice, brown 1 cup rice 2 ½ cups water 40 to 60 minutes
Rice, wild 1 cup wild rice 3 ½ cups water 60 minute
Rye berries 1 cup rye berries 3 cups water 60 minutes
Spelt 1 cup berries 3 cups water 40-60 minutes
Sorghum 1 cup sorghum 4 cups water at least 45 minutes
Wheat (Hard Red Variety) 1 cup wheat berries 3 cups water 45 minutes to 1 ½ hour
Wheat Khorsan (Kamut) 1 cup berries 3 cups water 30-45 minutes

Why do cooking times vary?

Pre soaking will reduce the amount of time you’ll need to cook your grains, but different grains may cook at different times than listed. Always check texture at the shortest cooking time to be sure your grains will not overcook. If your grains are cooked to your satisfaction but liquid remains, drain with a sieve and cool as indicated below.

What does Pearled mean?

All rice is brown rice and all grains have bran, but many of our dishes require the starches inside the grains to swell and, with friction, turn creamy, as in risotto or for sushi rice. Pearled grains are those whose brain has been rubbed off, either partially or entirely. The more bran remains on the grain, the longer the cooking time will be.