Monday, July 6, 2009

Pressure Cooked Wheat Berries

I decided to make wheat berries in the pressure cooker after reading that they retained more nutrition when cooked this way. The texture of the berries is as good, if not a little better than the standard cooking method that takes 45 minutes. Like the beans, the wheat berries didn’t retain the oil that was added to the pot to keep them from foaming. I did rinse the berries in the colander under running water to remove all the surface fat.

If you haven’t made grains in the pressure cooker give it a try. It is much easier than I thought it would be. Additionally, since you need to cook the grains for a fraction of the time your kitchen won’t be as hot when using this method.

Pressure Cooked Wheat Berries
Makes 3 cups – nutrition given for entire batch


1 cup of wheat berries that were soaked for 4 hours
3 cups of water
3 tablespoons of canola oil
1 teaspoon of kosher salt


Drain the wheat berries of their soaking liquid and rinse well. Place the wheat berries, water, canola oil and kosher salt in your pressure cooker. Lock the lid and set the cooker on high pressure (250 degrees) and turn the heat on high. When the steam begins to escape turn the heat down as low as you can while still getting steam (this is a little above low on my stove). Turn the timer on and cook for 18 minutes. After 18 minutes remove the cooker from the burner and allow to stand for at least 15 minutes to let pressure to decrease naturally (do not press the pressure release valve). After 15 minutes press the release valve and open the pot. Test the wheat berries for tenderness. If you want them to be softer cook in top the stove for a few minutes more (you may need to add a little water).

Drain the wheat berries in a wire mesh colander and rinse with cold water to eliminate the exterior oil. Drain thoroughly before adding dressing.

Nutritional Information (for entire recipe):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 631.68
Calories From Fat (5%) - 30.9

Total Fat - 3.69g
Saturated Fat - 0.6g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 1905.17mg
Potassium - 659.91mg
Total Carbohydrates - 130.62g
Fiber - 23.42g
Sugar - 0.79g
Protein - 29.57g


This was my first time cooking wheat berries in the pressure cooker and it worked well. The wheat berries that were pressure cooked may be a little more tender than the stovetop version that takes 90 minutes. I like that the berries cooked much quicker, and that I didn’t have to heat up my kitchen for as long as normal. However, retaining more nutrition in our food is also important.

I think using the pressure cooker for grains is going to be my new go to method. I can’t wait to try cooking brown rice this way, but that will need to wait until we eat the wheat berries. Overall, I was very pleased with the ease of preparation of the wheat berries in the pressure cooker.


  1. Hi! What's the difference between a pressure cooker and a standard one-button rice cooker? Can the rice cooker be used instead in this method of cooking wheatberries?

  2. Kristen,

    Foods cook faster in a pressure cooker because they are being cooked under pressure. You should be able to use your rice cooker, but it will take longer.

    If you soak the wheat berries before cooking them that will also reduce the cooking time a little.



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