Hulled vs. Pearl Barley: What’s the Difference?

In the world of cereal grains, organic barley is perhaps one of the most popular ones. While it was originally grown in Ethiopia, it is now cultivated all across the US. It is also one of the most widely consumed food grains by American citizens. Mostly added to soups and stews, pure organic barley is packed with nutritional value and boasts a wide variety of health benefits.

Moreover, organic barley also comes in several varieties, including hulled and pearl barley. However, people don’t know how to differentiate between these organic barley varieties. To reap the complete benefits of these varieties of organic barley, it is vital to understand the differences between both.

This blog will serve as a guide to hulled and pearl barley, highlighting the differences between both varieties of organic barley. Keep reading to learn more.

A pack of organic Tamalpais hulless barley available at SF Mart

What is Organic Barley?

Organic barley is a primary cereal crop that belongs to the grass family. It hails from the genus Hordeum, and the binomial name of organic barley is Hordeum vulgare.  

It is one of the most popular cereal grains, second only to rice, wheat, and corn. It is a whole grain with high nutritional value. In addition, it has a high content of soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol and glucose levels. The best part about pure organic barley is that the amount of fat in it is very low. Moreover, organic barley is grown in numerous regions all around the world in all kinds of climates.

Now that you have an idea about what organic barley is let’s explore its two popular varieties in detail: pearl barley and hulled barley.

Hulled vs. Pearl Barley: What’s the Difference?

There are several differences between pearl and hulled barley, some of which have been highlighted below:

Whole Grain vs. Processed

One of the differences between pearl and hulled barley is that the former is processed, and the latter is considered a whole grain. This is because for hulled barley, only its outer shell is removed, as it is inedible. On the other hand, for pearl barley, the bran, outer shell, and a portion of the endosperm are removed.

As the pearl barley is polished, the internal and external layers have to be removed to get that pearly shine. In contrast, hulled barley does not undergo an extensive procedure, as only the outer shell needs to be removed. Thus, hulled barley is a whole grain, while pearl barley is a processed grain.

The Difference in Nutritional Value

While both varieties of barley are highly nutritious, there is a slight difference in their nutritional value due to the processing variation. Pearl and hulled barley are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber that helps combat gut disorders and promotes digestive health. Plus, both have a relatively lower content of sodium and fat.

However, pearl barley is lower in calories compared to hulled barley. Nevertheless, even though hulled barley is high in calories, it has a lot more protein and fiber. Hulled barley contains around 16 grams of fiber in every half cup.

 USDA Organic logo

Cooking Pearl and Hulled Barley

The way you need to cook pearl and hulled barley is also different. As hulled barley is a whole grain and not processed as much as pearl barley, it takes longer to cook. While the way you cook both types of barley is pretty much the same, the only difference is in the cooking time. Also, it is recommended to soak hulled barley for a few minutes before cooking it to make it softer and cook it faster.

Before cooking either type of barley, you have to rinse it thoroughly. Next, you need to add three times more water than the amount of barley you are cooking. Then, add the barley, wait for the water to come to a boil, cover it with a lid, and let it cook. While pearl barley takes 40 to 45 minutes to cook, hulled barley takes 50 to 60 minutes.  

Difference in Appearance

Finally, you can also tell pearl and hull barley apart by looking at and touching them. Hulled barley is darker than pearl barley, which is lighter in color. Also, hulled barley has some of its shiny surface left because the bran is not removed. On the other hand, pearl barley looks almost like a pearl, polished and matte.

Furthermore, if you touch hulled barley and pick it up in your hand, you can feel the sharp edges. On the contrary, pearl barley does not have sharp ends.

 SF Mart season food logo

Top Organic Food Store to Buy Organic Barley

Now that you know the difference between hulled and pearl barley, shop for the popular varieties of organic barley online from your home and get them delivered to your doorstep in no time.

If you are looking for a dependable organic food store online with authentic and certified products, we are your best bet.

SF Mart has a wide-ranging and versatile collection of organic food products, including several varieties of organic barley. As one of the most prominent organic food stores, we focus on providing customers various organic food products. We have been in the business since 2010.

We are devoted to bringing all the best and healthiest organic barley varieties, such as pressed barley, hulless barley, black barley, pearl barley, and much more, to your table. We also offer several other organic food grains, such as brown rice and oats.

Additionally, all our pure organic barley products are USDA & CCOF Certified.

Visit the link to learn more details about the ongoing promotion, or get in touch with us to explore more. Alternatively, you can subscribe to our newsletter and avail a 10 percent discount on our products.

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