Pressure cooking may be hundreds of years old, but it has gained a resurgence in the past couple of years. Almost all imaginable types of food can be prepared using a pressure cooker- even grains. In fact, nothing makes grains and legumes better than a pressure cooker can. Not only do pressure cookers make use a lot less energy compared to other preparation methods such as boiling, but grains become more digestible too. Pressure cookers do this by reducing the lectin and phytic acids quantities that are found in most legumes and grains.
Be careful when cooking grains in a pressure cooker
Although pressure cookers are generally better at preserving the nutrients found in grains, you should be aware that beans and grains that are already split, cracked, pearled or rolled do have a tendency to release high quantities of starch. When starch is released, it can clog the pressure release valve and cause problems for your pressure cooker.
As a rule of thumb, you should try avoiding preparing rolled or granular cereals such as pearl barley, split peas and steel cut oats in the pressure cooker if you can. As always, be sure to read the instructions of your pressure cooker before attempting to prepare grains for the first time. Whole beans and most grans usually benefit and perform much better in pressure cookers when they are left to soak overnight.
When preparing grains on a pressure cooker here are certain things that you have to keep in mind to get perfectly cooked grains:
Always check your timing and water ratio
Each variety of grain requires an exact amount of water in order for it to re-hydrate fully and so that your meal does not turn into gruel. For instance, steel cut oats require about three cups of water while rice only requires one cup. Remember to look up the cooking times and liquid requirements on the pressure cooker time chart before preparing your grains.
Never fill your pressure cooker to capacity
You should never fill up your pressure cooker to capacity or more than halfway full. Grains, especially, expand when cooking so you want to avoid filling it up to the lid as that is where most safety features are located.
Add fat to avoid foaming
When preparing grains in your pressure cooker, consider adding a little bit of fat, butter, oil or what your recipe calls for to your grains and cooking liquid to avoid foaming.
Use the natural release method
How to cook different types of grains in a pressure cooker (Timing Charts)
Amaranth has a tasty nut-like flavour. Amaranth is mostly used for making flour for using in cookies, pancakes, noodles and most desserts. The grains to water ratio should be 1:3. It should take about 9 minutes to cook.
- Rye berries
Rye berries are very high in protein and fibre. The grain to water ratio should be 1:2. It should take about 15 to 20 minutes to prepare.
- Triticale berries
Triticale berries are a cross between wheat and rye. Triticale berries possess a nutty flavour that is richer than wheat but not as assertive as rye. The grain to water ratio should be 1:4 and it should take about 20 to 25 minutes to cook.
- Barley flakes
Barley flakes are basically heated and lightly toasted until they are soft before being pressed flat using steel rollers. The grain to water ratio should be 1:2. It should take about 9 minutes to cook.
- Barley pearl
Barley pearl is refined to give it a chewy and flavoured taste. To prepare, the grain to water ratio should be 1:4. It takes about 18 to 20 minutes to fully cook.
- Spelt berries, Dinkel and farro
Spelt contains a nutty and light flavour. Spelt berries are perfect for people that cannot tolerate wheat well. Spelt berried need grain to water ratio of 1:3 and will cook for about 15 minutes.
- Barley Whole
Whole barley performs better when soaked overnight. The grain to water ratio should be 1:3 and should cook for 20 minutes.
- Wheat berries
Wheat berries have short rounded kernels. They require 1: 3-grain water ratio and will take 30 to 40 minutes to cook.
- Buckwheat Kasha
Buckwheat Kasha can be toasted or untoasted. It takes about 12 minutes to cook and will require a 1:2 grain to water ratio.
- Bulgur and cracked wheat
Bulgur is used most commonly to prepare Tabouleh. The grain to water ratio should be 1: 3. Prepare for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Teff berries
Teff berries are Ethiopian in origin. The grain to water ratio should be 1: 3 and it should cook in 5 minutes.
- Hominy, grits, harina, samp, pozole, masa harina and corn
Hominy is made from corn kernels while samp is hominy that has been ground. The water to grain ratio should be 1:4 and will take 10 minutes to prepare.
Couscous only needs about 2 to 3 minutes. The grain to water ratio should be 1:2.
- Wheat flakes
The grain to water ratio should be 1:3 and should cook for 8 to 1o minutes.
- Dried and cracked corn, cornmeal and Matzoh meal
Yellow corn will have a nutty flavour. The water to grain to water ratio should be 1:2 and will take 12 to 15 minutes to cook.
- Whole Kamut
Whole Kamut has a chewy texture. The water to grain to water ratio should be 1:3 and will take 10 to 12 minutes to cook.
Millet is mild and digestible. The grain to water ratio should be 1:3 and will take 9 minutes to cook.
Ensure that you rinse your quinoa fully to get rid of the bitter taste. The water to grain ratio should be 1: 2 and should be cooked for 6 minutes.
- Quick Oats
Quick oats are not as chewy as rolled oats.
- Rolled or old-fashioned oats
Rolled oats require a 1: 4 grain to water ratio and should cook for 15 to 18 minutes.
- Steel cut, Irish and Scotch oats
Steel cuts oat need a 1: 4 grain to water ratio. They should cook for 10 minutes.
- Oat Groats
You should pre-soak oat groats before cooking. The water to grain to water ratio should be 1:3 and should cook for 15 to 18 minutes.