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Pearl Barley Vs. Quick Barley

Barley is one of the most cultivated grains in the world.

It is a highly nutritious cereal grain that is high in fiber and proteins

Barley is also cheap and readily available which is why it is incredibly popular.  

This grain is versatile and can be used a number of dishes. Barley can be used in soups and salads. It can also be used to make beverages.

Barley can also be processed to varying degrees, yielding different varieties of barley such as quick cooking barley and pearl barley.

What makes quick barley different from pearl barley is that quick cooking barley is partially cooked which gives it different properties.

In this post we take a look at these two varieties of barley and highlight the differences between them.

What is pearl barley?

Pearl barley is the most popular and versatile type of barley.

Whole grain barley is hulled, and pearl barley is produced from the hulled barley. 

Pearl barley is a refined barley that has been stripped off its germ and bran layer.

This leaves behind the starchy endosperm with less nutrients compared to whole grain barley.

However, the polished grains of pearl barley are softer and take less time to cook compared to the hulled form of barley.

Pearl barley also does not have to be soaked before it is prepared.

The grains of pearl barley are smooth, and they have an off-white color to a yellow color.

Pearl barley can be used in a lot of dishes, from soups to stews. It can also be used to make cereal and salads. Barley flour can be made from pearl barley 

Pearled barley can also be used as a substitute for other types of grains  

It has a subtle flavor but absorbs the flavors of other sweet or savory ingredients 

Pearl barley also has a soft but chewy texture.

What is Quick barley? 

Quick cooking barley is produced from pearled barley.

To produce quick barley, pearl barley goes through flake-rolling process during which it is par cooked.

The barley is also flattened as it passes through a rolling press, it is also dried.

Quick barley is not as smooth as pearled barley; It also has a less chewy than pearl barley. 

The quick-cooking barley has a milder flavor compared to pearl barley.

This barley absorb more than the other forms of barley which makes them cook fast. 

Quick barley is also really good at absorbing flavors of the other ingredients that it is used with.

Quick barley cooks faster than pearl barley

The whole purpose of producing quick-cooking barley is to have a product that cooks faster than other forms of barley.

On an average, pearl barley takes about 20 mins to prepare while quick cooking barley may take about 10 minutes to get ready. 

This makes quick cooking barley the preferred option for a quicker meal. On the other hand, quick cooking barley might not be a good choice in recipes that are cooked for longer duration.

Therefore, pearled barley is better suited for some recipes.

However, their nutritional contents of pearl barley and quick barley are quite similar when compared.