Barley Shelf Life: How Long Does Barley Last?

What is the average shelf life of barley? How long does barley last in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer? What is the best way to store barley to increase its shelf life? Find out the answers to these questions and more below:

Shelf Life of Barley

Uncooked1 YearN/AN/A
CookedN/A3-4 Days3-4 Weeks

Barley is a rich source of dietary fiber, copper, manganese, and vitamin B1. It is a grain, refined and pearled grain lasts longer than whole grains. With the proper storage, barley can have a shelf life of up to a year.

What causes grains to spoil is moisture and heat. Heat can cause the grain to germinate sprouting shouts. Moisture provides a breeding ground for fungus. If the barley in your kitchen looks moldy, smells different, or lacks the resemblance, do not use it.

Purchasing Barley

Large quantities of barley need to be stored in controlled conditions to prolong the shelf life. Barley can come in a variety with the difference being the processing. In terms of fiber, whole grain is the best option. Whole grain keeps the digestive track running smooth and keeps the body feeling full longer.

Pearled or refined barley has the husk stripped which helps give it a longer shelf life. The lack of husk makes softening the barley by soaking faster. This reduces the cooking time, and there is a difference in taste. Whole barley has a richer taste in comparison to refined barley.

Storing Barley

There are two ways to store barley, and it depends on the weather. In cooler climates, barley can be stored on a shelf or the pantry away from sunlight. Moisture still poses a threat as it can lead to spoiling. The indicators are a foul odor, change in texture or hardness. If the barley clusters together that means there is moisture in the container.

If there isn’t any visible sign of spoiling and no change in odor, consider drying the grain in the sun. In a hotter climate, the grain needs to be stored in the fridge. It is very important to use an airtight container to prevent condensation from being absorbed. Grains have a tendency to absorb smells as well.

How to Handle Barley

Barley is a grain and a member of the rice family. Transferring it from container to container is very straightforward. The only thing t makes sure of is using dry bowls or measuring cups for storage transfer as moisture can spoil the barley. Soaking barley you just need a Tupperware bowl and water.

If the water you are using is hot, keep in mind to use a heat safe plastic container, glass, or ceramic container. To keep the barley from spoiling buy it in smaller portions. Buying in smaller portions means not as much of wastage. If you use barley occasionally, label the container, so you don’t miss it and run out for more.

Cooking With Barley

Barley is used in bread, cereal, boiled, and in porridge. Barley in flour form is used to make bread; it also acts as a natural thickening agent in soups and gravies. Bread made from barley is a staple in Tibet. Keep the stove on medium heat while cooking barley in porridge or just boiling. Occasional stirring is required to keep the barley from sticking to the bottom or the sides of the pan. Keep an eye on the water level because if it drops too low the barley will start to burn ruining the flavor.