Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Great Barley Experiment

Last night I did an extensive experiment with dehydrated cooked barley.  Once I had completed a series of photos (and eaten the results), I went to load it into the computer. To my disgust, I discovered my camera chip was still in the computer!  My SLR won’t take a pic if the chip is missing, but apparently the point-and-shoot will. Hmmm…

I fiddled around with the camera… don’t know why… and discovered it has an internal memory. My pics were there!  Yay!  Sooo…. I figured out how to transfer them to the chip and into the computer.

I wanted to find out about the cooked barley I had recently dehydrated.  I am quite fond of barley, but it takes a long time to cook.  Generally, I cook it in the crock-pot overnight.

I wondered if it would rehydrate like dehydrated cooked rice.  I started with ¼ cup of dehydrated barley and covered it with water.  It took about 30 minutes of simmering on very low heat before it was rehydrated, tender, and ready to eat. I decided that takes too long, although it is substantially less time than cooking it from the raw state.

Then I took ¼ cup of dehydrated cooked barley and buzzed it to a coarse chop in my Magic Bullet grinder.

This was simmered on very low heat for about 15 minutes. It was quite tasty and had the texture of grits.

.Finally, I covered ¼ cup of dehydrated cooked barley with water and put it in the fridge. 

  • By the way, rehydrated cooked barley has about twice the volume of the dehydrated barley

I was thinking in terms of bulgar, which doesn’t need cooking. Here’s my bulgar spiel. You really need to incorporate this in your diet.
  • Bulgar is simply cracked wheat. You can cook it exactly like rice and substitute it for rice in any dish you like.
  • Bulgar is one of those wonderful coarse ground grains that will soften to an edible consistency simply by soaking. 
  • It’s often used in third world countries where the people are too poor even for a cooking fire. 
  • It has the added bonus of being an excellent source of natural roughage.
  • Bulgar is the main ingredient in Tabouli, a delicious cold salad made with cracked wheat and an assortment of seasonings.  Excellent!

Delicious and tender! No further cooking necessary, except to reheat it if desired.  Wondering if it can be used in making an alternative to Tabouli. Hmmm.

What does this tell me?

  • In a bug-out situation, cooked dehydrated barley is an excellent grain to take with you.  Even if you don’t have a source of heat, you can soak it in water to make something nutritious and edible.
  • For camping or hiking it’s an excellent cooked grain or soup.  Cover it with boiling water in your thermos for a piping hot lunch!


  1. Hi! found this post while searching on "dehydrated barley." If you soak the uncooked barley overnight, or at least five or six hours, it will cook up much faster. I was thinking of grinding the dehydrated barley to add to bread dough. I don't have a real grinder, so the raw grains won't work in my blender, but I bet the cooked and dried grains will.

    1. Thanks Druh,

      What a great suggestion! Let us know how it works out!