How to Cook Barley in Instant Pot

Barley is a highly nutritious grain that is widely consumed all over the world. It is a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it an excellent addition to any meal. Cooking barley in an Instant Pot is a quick and easy way to prepare this grain while retaining its nutrients. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to cook barley in an Instant Pot.


Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s take a quick look at barley. Barley is a cereal grain that is rich in fiber, protein, and various other essential nutrients. It is commonly used in soups, stews, salads, and pilafs. Barley is also low in fat and calories, which makes it a perfect choice for weight watchers.

Cooking barley in an Instant Pot is an excellent option as it allows you to retain its nutrients and cook it quickly. Additionally, the Instant Pot is a versatile kitchen gadget that can be used to cook a wide variety of dishes.

Preparing Barley for Cooking

Before cooking barley in an Instant Pot, it is essential to prepare it correctly. Here are the steps to follow:

Soaking Process

Soaking barley before cooking can reduce its cooking time and help it cook evenly. To soak barley, you should:

  1. Rinse the barley under cold water and remove any debris or impurities.
  2. Place the barley in a large bowl and cover it with water.
  3. Allow the barley to soak for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Rinsing and Draining

After soaking, it is crucial to rinse and drain the barley before cooking. This helps to remove any excess starch on the surface and prevents the grains from sticking together. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Rinse the soaked barley under cold water.
  2. Drain the barley using a fine-mesh strainer.
  3. Shake the strainer gently to remove any excess water.

Cooking Barley in Instant Pot

Now that your barley is prepped and ready to go, it’s time to start cooking it in your Instant Pot. Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 cup of barley
  • 2 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

And here are the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Press the “saute” button on your Instant Pot and add the olive oil or butter.
  2. Once the oil/butter is heated, add the barley to the pot and stir it around for 1-2 minutes until it is lightly toasted.
  3. Add the water or vegetable broth to the pot and stir in salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Close the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to “sealing.”
  5. Press the “manual” or “pressure cook” button and set the timer for 20-25 minutes depending on your preferred texture (less time for chewier barley, more time for softer barley).
  6. Once the timer goes off, allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Then, do a quick release to release any remaining pressure.
  7. Open the Instant Pot lid and fluff the barley with a fork. Your barley is now ready to serve!

Release the Pressure and Serving

After cooking your barley, it’s important to release the pressure from your Instant Pot before serving. There are two methods for releasing pressure: quick release and natural release.

Quick Release vs. Natural Release

  • Quick Release: This method involves turning the valve on your Instant Pot from “sealing” to “venting” to release pressure quickly. It’s best to use this method for foods that can easily overcook, like vegetables.

  • Natural Release: This method involves allowing the Instant Pot to release pressure slowly on its own, usually for 10-15 minutes. This method is best for foods that can withstand longer cooking times, like grains and meats.

Tips on Serving Barley

Once your barley is cooked and pressure is released, it’s time to serve it up! Here are a few tips to make your barley dish even tastier:

  • Add some fresh herbs like parsley or thyme to add flavor and color.
  • Mix in some roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes or Brussels sprouts for added texture and nutrition.
  • Use your cooked barley as a base for a salad or grain bowl.
  • Enjoy your cooked barley as a side dish or add it to soups and stews.

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