December 24, 2019 2 min read 2 Comments

What is difference between pearled, hulled and hulless barley? Be Still Farms ~ Real, Fine OrganicsThere is a fair amount of confusion among our customers about the best kind of organic barley to use, not surprising as the differences can be subtle.  Over time, we have seen three main kinds of organic barley become available: Classic "Hulled Barley", Pearled Barley, and the lesser-known "Hull-less Barley".What we would call classic Hulled Barley is a variety of barley with an outer husk that is tightly attached. To make the grain edible, this tight outer husk, or ‘hull’, is removed using a kind of simple rolling/tumbling action. This processing is similar but shorter to what is done to create Pearled Barley. The resulting grains do bear a slight resemblance to each other visually and can cause confusion for people choosing a product. For example, classic Hulled Barley will show some of the bare spots common to Pearled Barley from all the rolling/tumbling. But importantly, the shorter processing means Hulled Barley retains a higher nutrition level.

As you may have guessed, Pearled Barley gets its name from the pale shine created from longer tumbling times when processing.  These longer times mean that not only is the outer hull removed but also most of the bran layer (which is the fiber).  This extra processing creates a grain that is less chewy and cooks more quickly.  Pearled Barley is also sometimes called ‘Pot or Scotch’ barley. Pearled Barley is the most processed, least beneficial of the 3 options from a nutrition perspective. That said, organic Pearled Barley is still a healthy ingredient if you prefer your barley this way as it still retains its protein, vitamin, and mineral content.

Whereas Hulled Barley and Pearled Barley are the same species and get their names from the way they are processed, Hull-less Barley, often called Hulless Barley, is actually a completely different variety of barley. This species has an outer hull that is much less tightly attached and therefore drops off on its own as it is harvested in the field. Being a different variety, and not requiring any rolling/tumbling, it looks different to the naked eye. There are some cooking and taste differences as well. We will go into this aspect a bit more in part 2 of this series.

 

Recipes:

Related Blogs: 

 


Thanks for reading this Be Still Farms Blog article. To sign up for more news/articles and/or recipes, click here. For more about us, click here. To shop our certified organic products, click here.

Please comment and share and we look forward to serving you in the future!

Michelle @ BSF
Michelle @ BSF


2 Responses

Michelle McNamara
Michelle McNamara

June 03, 2020

Hi There!

You can find part two of that article here:

https://be-still-farms.com/blogs/healthy-organic-living-blog/why-barley-part-2-cooking-taste

Blessings!
Michele @ Be Still Farms
The Carolinas

Cindy Miller
Cindy Miller

April 28, 2020

Where do I find part two of this article on pearl, hulled and hulless barley?

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Healthy & Organic Living Blog

Storing Whole Grains Vs. Flours
Storing Whole Grains Vs. Flours

August 03, 2021 1 min read

When it comes to storing grains versus flours, there are certain key differences between the two. Whole grains will last and keep fresh longer when stored properly, with the average shelf life being......
Varieties of Risotto Rice
Varieties of Risotto Rice

July 27, 2021 2 min read

All risotto recipes call for cooking rice in broth so it becomes important to choose the right type of rice. For getting the risotto right, it makes sense to choose a rice variety that has........
White Popcorn vs Yellow Popcorn
White Popcorn vs Yellow Popcorn

July 20, 2021 2 min read

While there are many varieties of corn, not all of them can pop. In fact, corn can be sweet corn, for eating off the cob, or field corn for processing and cornmeal but only one type of corn known as.....