Cooking Grains

Note: The water-to-grain ratio for cooking stovetop grains is generally two cups water to one cup washed grain. This includes quinoa, buckwheat, and all types of rice. For millet and amaranth, use a 3:1 water-to-grain ratio.

  1. Wash and drain the grain. Bring water to a rolling boil.
  2. Add grain and boil for 1 minute.
  3. Cover pan and turn down to the lowest possible setting, which allows the grains to absorb the hot water slowly as they cook.
  4. Cooking times: buckwheat and quinoa 20 minutes, millet 30 minutes, brown rice 45 minutes.
  5. Once cooked, allow the grain to rest with the lid of the pot slightly ajar to release excess steam. You can also place a clean cloth or paper towel over the pot once the flame is off to absorb excess moisture, then place the lid lightly on top.
  6. If making a cool grain salad, allow the grain to cool to room temperature completely before spooning into a bowl, or else the grain will become mushy when mixed with additional ingredients.

If the lowest setting on your stove does not allow the grain to stop boiling, consider placing a metal heat diffuser under your cooking pot to keep the cooking temperature low enough. At this point in cooking, the hot water is simply being absorbed by the grain, and very low heat allows this step to take place. Heat diffusers can be found at general merchandise, kitchen or hardware stores for just a few dollars. If you have thin-bottomed pots, a heat diffuser is a must. A ceramic crock designed especially for cooking grains inside of a pressure cooker is the connoisseur’s choice; sources for this can be found online.