Cooking grains

Cooking grains is pretty simple – add the grain to boiling water or stock and cook until soft. They will need watching, especially the ones that take a long time to cook. If you can master cooking them in an Instant Pot, you can have them done in a fraction of the time. But it does take some mastery and you’ll find all sorts of recommendations on-line. Use your own judgment and keep records of how long you cook things. Some, like bulgur, cook pretty quickly. Others may take an hour or more.

 Once the basic recipe is made, the possibilities are endless, from salads to meatless burgers to lentil-bulger casseroles to stuffed peppers. Even if you don’t follow a recipe to the letter, looking at them can trigger your own imagination. 


These times and amounts are suggestions. They may vary depending on the type of pan used, the age of the grain, and the amount of heat used. In most cases, bring the water to a boil, add the grain, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan. The exception to this is rolled oats, which will usually boil over if covered. 

Grain (1 cup) water cooking time

  • Barley 3 cups 1 hour, 15 min.
  • Brown rice 2 cups 45-55 min.
  • Buckwheat groats 2 cups 15 min.
  • Bulgur wheat 2 cups 15-20 min.
  • Cracked wheat 2 cups 25 min.
  • Farro 3 cups 45 min.
  • Kamut 3 cups soaked overnight 30-40 min (unsoaked, 50-60)
  • Millet 2 cups 20 min (toast first for better flavor)
  • Oatmeal 2 cups 15 min.
  • Steel cut oats 2 cups 35-40 min.
  • Whole wheat berries  3 cups 1 hour
  • Quinoa 2 cups 20 min