*How do you Cook Grains?*
By: Sitkastan
1 February 2003

I have always wondered about cooking grains.  After all, I have many hundreds of pounds stored away and yet I have no clear idea how to cook these grains.  Yes I have all kinds of cook books and storage program material but most of these make the presumption that I have always known how to cook grains.  So I decided to do some research and put together a handy little table showing cooking amounts, time etc.

I hope the table is as helpful  for your storage program as it was for mine.

Grain Amount Uncooked Amount of liquid ** Cooking Time * Yield
Amaranth 1 cup 3 cups 25-30 min. 2 1/2 cups
Barley 1 cup 4 cups 30-40 min. 4 cups
Buckwheat 1 cup 2 -5 cups 20 min. 3 cups
Bulgur 1 cup 2 cups 15 min 2 1/2 cups
Cornmeal 1 cup 4 - 5 cups 30-40 min 4 -5 cups
Kamut 1 cup 3 -4 cups 1 hour 2 1/2 cups
Millet 1 cup 4 cups 25-30 min 4 cups
Oats 1 cup 3 cups 30-40 min 3 1/2 cups
Oatmeal 1 cup 2 cups 10 min 4 cups
Rice (Brown) 1 cup 2 - 2 1/2 cups 35-40 min 2 1/2 cups
Rye 1 cup 4 cups 1 hour 2 2/3 cups
Triticale 1 cup 4 cups 1 hour 2 1/2 cups
Wheat Berries 1 cup 3 - 4 cups 1 hour 2 1/2 cups
Wheat Cracked 1 cup 2 cups 25 min. 2 1/3 cups
Wild Rice 1 cup 4 cups 40 min 3 - 3 1/2 cups

First of all, you should rinse all raw grain in cold water and drain.  Using the formula shown in the table bring the liquid to a boil. 

Add grain and stir.  Bring liquid back to boil, then cover and reduce heat to lowest setting possible.  Cook until soft.  (See table for estimated times.) * Cooking times are approximate, some people like their cooked grains a little more firmer than others. ** Liquid may be water, but if you use meat or vegetable stock, juice or milk; you will improve the flavor tremendously.  The more flavorful the liquid, the more flavorful the grain.  The more flavorful the grain the more likely that your children and elderly will find it tasty and filling.  Remember that storage food does not have to be a dull experience.  You may even find that it becomes a popular item at your dinner table. Lastly, folks are confused at times about pilaf grains.  Pilaf is just another method of preparing the grain.  Pilaf adds some unique flavor varieties and potential for a limited storage program. To Pilaf a grain all you do is; sauté the grain with minced onion in oil and then add twice as much liquid as grain; cover and cook over medium-low heat until the liquid is completely absorbed, by this time the grain will be very tender.  Cooking time is as listed in the table.  Brown rice, bulgur, barley, millet and wild rice are grains that are great pilafed, however you can pilaf any grain you want. For information on cooking legumes check out my article on How to cook legumes.

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