Get ahead of your weekly meals by learning how to cook grains in a big batch. You get to choose your process here to make white rice, brown rice, quinoa, farro, and other grains to perfection without having to get a pot out every night of the week.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement

Cooked grains are the foundation for all sorts of recipes. Whether it's hot cooked rice for a meat-and-veggie bowl, a comforting chicken soup, or a hearty salad, it never hurts to have ready-to-eat grains on hand for meals at a moment's notice. If you're a big fan of meal-prepping, you'll find this page a go-to for making cooked grains. Follow along for the exact measurements to cooking rice and other whole grains using the method (slow cooker, pressure cooker, or stove top) that works best for you.

bean and grain bowl with fresh vegetables
Credit: Carson Downing
Cook Grains Unbelievably Fast in Your Pressure Cooker

Cook a Batch of Grains

No matter the method you follow, each will yield a total of 6 cups so you'll be set for multiple meals ahead of time.

Test Kitchen Tip: If you won't use the whole batch of cooked grains within 5 days, measure out the extra into portions, put into airtight containers, and freeze up to 3 months.

White Rice

White rice has been processed to remove the husk, bran, and germ. This gives the grains a softer texture and causes them to cook quicker.

  • Pressure Cooker: In the pot of a 6-qt. pressure cooker combine 2½ cups long grain white rice, 2½ cups water, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 Tbsp. butter. Bring to pressure; cook 5 minutes. Release naturally 10 minutes; quick-release remaining pressure.
  • Slow Cooker: Rinse 2 cups rice in a sieve until water runs clear. In a 4- to 6-qt. slow cooker combine rice with 3½ cups water, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 Tbsp. butter; cook on high 1¾ hours or until water is absorbed and most of the rice is tender. Stir; cover and let stand 5 minutes.
  • Stove Top: In a 4- to 6-qt. pot combine 2 cups rice and 4 cups water; cook, covered, 15 minutes. Remove and let stand 5 minutes.

Brown Rice

This rice retains the bran around the rice kernel. Its longer cooking time pays off in more fiber.

  • Pressure Cooker: In the pot of a 6-qt. pressure cooker combine 3 cups brown rice, 3¾ cups water, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 Tbsp. butter. Bring to pressure; cook 10 minutes. Release pressure naturally 10 minutes; quick-release remaining pressure.
  • Slow Cooker: Rinse 2 cups brown rice in a sieve until water runs clear. In a 4- to 6-qt. slow cooker combine rice, 4 cups water, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 Tbsp. butter. Cook on high2 hours or until water is absorbed and most of the rice is tender; stir.
  • Stove Top: In a 4- to 6-qt. pot combine 2 cups brown rice and4 cups water. Simmer, covered, 45 minutes. Remove and let stand 5 minutes.

Barley

Chewy barley is considered an ancient grain and is one of the richest sources of soluble and insoluble fibers.

  • Pressure Cooker: In the pot of a 6-qt. pressure cooker combine 2 cups regular barley and 8 cups water. Bring to pressure; cook 21 minutes. Quick-release the pressure. Drain excess liquid.
  • Slow Cooker: In a 4-qt. slow cooker combine 1⅔ cups regular barley and 6½ cups water. Cover and cook on high 2¾ to 3 hours.
  • Stove Top: In a 4- to 6-qt. pot combine 1½ cups regular barley and 6 cups water; cook, covered, 45 minutes. Drain if necessary.

Wheat Berries

These whole unprocessed kernels of wheat are slightly sweet with a nutty flavor and enjoyable chewy texture.

  • Pressure Cooker: In the pot of a 6-qt. pressure cooker combine 3 cups wheat berries and 6 cups water. Bring to pressure; cook 35 minutes. Release pressure naturally 15 minutes; quick-release remaining pressure. Drain excess liquid.
  • Slow Cooker: In a 4-qt. slow cooker combine 2½ cups wheat berries and 5 cups water. Cover and cook on high 3½ to 4½ hours. Drain excess liquid.
  • Stove Top: In a 4- to 6-qt. pot combine 2¼ cups wheat berries and 7½ cups water; cook, covered, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain excess liquid.

Wild Rice

Wild rice (the seed of a marsh grass originating in the northern United States) has a chewy texture, nutty flavor, and relatively high amount of protein.

  • Pressure Cooker: In the pot of a 6-qt. pressure cooker combine 2½ cups wild rice, 3¾ cups water, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 Tbsp. butter. Bring to pressure; cook 15 minutes. Release pressure naturally 10 minutes; quick-release remaining pressure. Let stand 10 minutes.
  • Slow Cooker: In a 4-qt. slow cooker combine 2 cups wild rice, 4 cups water, and 1 tsp. salt. Cook on high 2¼ hours. Let stand 15 minutes.
  • Stove Top: In a 4- to 6-qt. pot combine 2 cups wild rice and 4 cups water. Simmer, covered, 40 minutes or until tender; let stand until liquid absorbs.

Steel-Cut Oats

Steel-cut oats are whole oat groats that have been cut into two or three pieces. They take longer to cook than rolled oats and are chewier in texture.

  • Pressure Cooker: Coat the pot of a 6-qt. pressure cooker with nonstick cooking spray. In the pot combine 2 cups steel-cut oats, 6 cups water, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 Tbsp. butter. Bring to pressure; cook 12 minutes. Release pressure naturally 10 minutes; quick-release remaining pressure. Stir; let stand 10 minutes.
  • Slow Cooker: Coat a 4-qt. slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. In the cooker combine 2 cups steel-cut oats, 6 cups water, and 1 tsp. salt. Cook on high 3 hours.
  • Stove Top: In a 4- to 5-qt. pot combine 2 cups steel-cut oats, 6 cups water, and 1 tsp. salt; cook, covered, 25 to 30 minutes.
Roasted Salmon and Farro Bowls on plate with fork
Credit: Blaine Moats
Get Our Roasted Salmon and Farro Bowl Recipe

Farro

Nutty and chewy farro is high in protein and fiber and comes both pearled and semipearled. Pearling removes the bran layer, making it cook faster. Semipearled farro retains part of the nutrient-rich bran.

  • Pressure Cooker: In the pot of a 6-qt. pressure cooker 1 combine 2¼ cups farro, rinsed and drained, and 5 cups water. Bring to pressure; cook 7 minutes. Release pressure naturally. Drain excess liquid if necessary.
  • Slow Cooker: In a 4-qt. slow cooker combine 2 cups farro, rinsed and drained, and 6 cups water. Cook on high 2½ hours.
  • Stove Top: In a 4- to 5-qt. pot combine 2½ cups farro, rinsed and drained, and 7 cups water. Cook, covered, 30 minutes.

Bulgur

These wheat kernels have been boiled, dried, and cracked—so they cook up quickly. With a tender, chewy texture and earthy flavor, bulgur is high in fiber.

  • Pressure Cooker: In the pot of a 6-qt. pressure cooker combine 2½ cups bulgur, rinsed and drained, and 4 cups water. Bring to pressure; cook 12 minutes. Release pressure naturally 15 minutes; quick-release remaining pressure.
  • Slow Cooker: In a 4-qt. slow cooker combine 2 cups bulgur, rinsed and drained, and 6 cups water. Cook on high 1 to 2 hours. Let stand 15 minutes.
  • Stove Top: In a 4- to 5-qt. pot combine 2 cups bulgur, rinsed and drained, and 6 cups water. Cook, covered, 12 minutes. Drain excess liquid if necessary.

Freekeh

Whole-grain freekeh is roasted green (young) wheat. It’s commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine and enjoying a surge in worldwide popularity.

  • Pressure Cooker: In the pot of a 6-qt. pressure cooker combine 2 cups freekeh and 3⅓ cups water; bring to pressure. Cook 10 minutes. Release pressure naturally.
  • Slow Cooker: In a 4-qt. slow cooker combine 2 cups bulgur, rinsed and drained, and 6 cups water. Cook on high 1 to 2 hours. Let stand 15 minutes.
  • Stove Top: In a 4- to 5-qt. pot combine2 cups bulgur, rinsed and drained, and 6 cups water. Cook, covered, 12 minutes. Drain excess liquid if necessary.

Quinoa

Containing more protein than any other grain, quinoa is slightly chewy with a delicate flavor and texture.

  • Pressure Cooker: In the pot of a 6-qt. pressure cooker combine 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained; 3 cups water; and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to pressure; cook 1 minute. Release pressure naturally 10 minutes; quick-release remaining pressure.
  • Slow Cooker: In a 4-qt. slow cooker combine 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained; 3 cups water; and1 tsp. salt. Cover and cook on high 2 hours.
  • Stove Top: In a 4- to 5-qt. pot combine2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained, and 4 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes; drain if necessary.

Since you've got all these cooked grains, now what? Use some of our favorite whole grain recipes for inspiration. Create your own grain bowl using seasonal veggies. You can also meal-prep shredded chicken or beans to go with it.

Download Our Free Cooking Grains Chart

Comments

Be the first to comment!