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There's a shelf full of tasty grains to discover, and most are remarkably easy to prepare. With these tips, you have the exact grain-to-water ratio for fluffy, tender rice, a hot hack for adding extra flavour and more.

Common grain-to-water ratios for cooking grains

Amaranth

1 cup grains to 2 cups liquid. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes.

Pot barley

1 cup grains to 3 cups liquid. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes.

Brown rice

1 cup grains to 2½ cups liquid. Cook for 25 to 45 minutes.

Quinoa

1 cup grains to 2 cups liquid. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes. Pre-rinse in a fine-mesh sieve to prevent bitterness.

Buckwheat

1 cup grains to 2 cups liquid. Cook for 20 minutes.

Spelt/wheat berries

1 cup grains to 4 cups liquid. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes. Soak overnight before cooking.

Bulgur

1 cup grains to 2 cups liquid. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes.

Steel-cut oats

1 cup grains to 4 cups liquid. Cook for 30 minutes.

Couscous

1 cup grains to 1½ cups liquid. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Bring liquid to a boil; turn off heat and add couscous to pot, stirring evenly to moisten. Cover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

Teff

1 cup grains to 3 cups liquid. Cook for 20 minutes.

Farro

1 cup grains to 2½ cups liquid. Cook for 25 to 40 minutes.

White rice

1 cup grains to 1½ cups liquid. Cook for 16 to 18 minutes.

Millet

1 cup grains to 2½ cups liquid. Cook for 25 to 35 minutes.

Wild rice

1 cup grains to 3 cups liquid. Cook for 45 to 55 minutes. When rice is cooked, turn off heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

Tips

  1. For extra flavour in savoury dishes, substitute broth for water.
  2. Bring grains to a boil in water or broth, then turn down the heat and let simmer until they absorb all the cooking liquid.
  3. Cooking times can vary depending on grain variety, age, storage, presoaking time, and cookware, so follow package instructions and taste-test for doneness. A grain is ready when it's tender yet chewy.
  4. With the exception of couscous, all grains can be presoaked for two to three hours to save on cooking time. Time savings will vary.