Quick Reference Stove Top Grain Cooking Guide

Quick Reference Stove Top Grain Cooking Guide

I love preparing grains in my rice cooker (with water or vegetable broth adjustments), but cooking grains via the simple stove top method is still a tried and true preparation method that can easily be mastered by anyone. The only difference being that you’ll need to keep watch over your saucepan and heat vs. just setting the cooking timer on the rice cooker after adding in your grains and water (or my preference, vegetable broth).

Now, with the exception of the oats, be sure to give your grains a good rinse in cold water to remove debris. I typically like to soak my grains in a bowl of cold water for 15-30 minutes, rinse and then proceed with cooking preparation. If you allow your grains to soak overnight, this helps crack the carbohydrate cell around the inner grain seed which will typically shorten cooking time. However, ALWAYS remember to rinse your grains thoroughly after soaking. And, as always, cooking times are a general guideline. Actual cooking times vary due to cooking altitude, type of cookware, consistency of heat, kitchen temperature and humidity.

White Rice – 1 cup dry rice measurement to 2 cups water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the rice, cover, reduce heat and cook at a LOW SIMMER for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat and leave on burner for 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with fork.

Brown Rice – 1 cup dry rice measurement to 2 to 2-1/4 cups water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the rice, cover, reduce heat and cook at a LOW SIMMER for 40-60 minutes. Turn off heat and leave on burner for 5-10 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with fork.

Wild Rice – 1 cup dry measurement to 3-1/2 cups water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the rice, cover, reduce heat and cook at a LOW SIMMER for 60-70 minutes. Turn off heat and leave on burner for 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with fork.

Quinoa – 1 cup dry measurement to 2 cups water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the quinoa and boil for 1 minute. Cover, reduce heat and cook at a LOW SIMMER for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and leave on burner for 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with fork.

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Couscous – 1 cup dry measurement to 1-1/2 cups water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat.  Stir in the couscous, cover, reduce heat and cook at a LOW SIMMER for 5-7 minutes (they are quick cooking). Turn off heat and leave on burner for 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with fork.

Pearled Barley – 1 cup dry measurement to 3-1/2 cups water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the barley, cover, reduce heat and cook at a LOW SIMMER for 45-60 minutes. Turn off heat and leave on burner for 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with fork.

Millet – 1 cup dry measurement to 3 cups water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the millet, cover, reduce heat and cook at a LOW SIMMER for 20-25 minutes. Turn off heat and leave on burner for 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with fork.

Buckwheat – 1 cup dry measurement to 2 cups water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the buckwheat, cover, reduce heat and cook at a LOW SIMMER for 20-25 minutes. Turn off heat and leave on burner for 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with fork.

Rolled Oats – 1 cup dry measurement to 3 cups water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the oats, cover, reduce heat and cook at a LOW SIMMER for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat and leave on burner for 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with fork.

It’s your choice whether to add sea salt or not, but I always put a generous pinch into the water before boiling. Make sure to always use a tight fitting lid, and don’t try to speed up the cooking time by cooking at a rolling boil vs. a low simmer, you’ll just ruin your dish. And lastly, one of my favorite ways to add another level of incredible flavor is to substitute the called for amount of water with vegetable broth. You won’t believe how much flavor this lends to your grains. If adding vegetable broth, hold off on adding any sea salt until after your grains have cooked otherwise you may end up having an over-salted dish.

Bon Veggie Appetit!

Gina “The Veggie Goddess” Matthews