If you are a foodie and love trying new dishes, and training your palate to a diversity of flavors, you know about farro, an ancient grain that originated in the Middle East, paved its way to other continents, and is now served in the trendiest restaurants throughout the US. We’ll provide you with a guide on how to cook farro in a rice cooker. Because we know all about efficiency.
When you cook farro at home, you can use various methods including a traditional stovetop method and a more innovative one — in an instant pot. And of course, you can try our method of choice — in a rice cooker.
Using a rice cooker with maximum efficiency
Why have we chosen the rice cooker to cook farro? The reason is quite simple: we love utilizing our kitchen appliances to the maximum of their capacity. Purchasing a rice cooker, which is not a particularly small device, only to cook rice doesn’t seem very efficient.
Finding creative ways to enhance its productivity was a challenge we were ready to take. And we succeeded. A rice cooker worked perfectly and provided delicious and tender farro, which we now enjoy regularly.
Farro in a rice cooker: simply perfect
Rice cookers are, in fact, versatile appliances. Apart from rice, you can cook farro, barley, wild rice (which is a separate type of grain), and other grains, as well. You’ll find the technique surprisingly easy. That’s a great advantage of rice cookers over other methods of cooking. They don’t require your continuous vigilance.
After taking a few simple steps, you can go on and enjoy your day while your rice cooker does all the work. A traditional stove won’t give you such luxury. Let us show you the way we cook farro, and you’ll see for yourself. You can thank us later, you’ll surely want to.
#1. The ingredients
The farro/water ratio for a rice cooker should be 1:3. Instead of water, opt for vegetable stock. It will enrich the taste of the cooked farro. You’ll need salt (to taste), and any other spices you prefer. They will add to the flavor of cooked farro.
Olive oil will help keep cooked farro loose. Adding oil prevents farro from getting sticky.
When you rinse farro in a large amount of water and drain it afterward, you can avoid sticky farro when it’s cooked. You won’t obtain farro gluten-free, but there will be much less of it. If a fluffy texture is not your thing, don’t rinse farro.
Farro has a natural nutty flavor, and toasting will make it even more pronounced. If you enjoy the nutty flavor, it just takes 7-8 minutes in a dry skillet to enhance a pleasant aroma exponentially.
#4. Adding farro to water
As we mentioned before, you can use any kind of broth instead of water to add to uncooked farro for bringing additional flavor to grain farro. But its own taste and nutty flavor are enough for a rich, nourishing taste.
#5. Flavoring: an individual touch
Here comes your creativity and preferences. You can add the spices you like, leading to diverse and interesting results. Cumin, cardamom, and nutmeg to get the aroma of Middle Eastern cuisine. Oregano, thyme, and basil for a Mediterranean-inspired dish… the options are endless.
Depending on the type of farro you have, the settings can alter. You may want to opt for the White Rice setting for pearled or semi-pearled farro. Whereas for whole grain farro, a better option is a Whole Grain setting or a Brown Rice setting.
The cooking time will be 40-50 minutes depending on the setting. You can do whatever you want during that time. One of the advantages of cooking in a rice cooker is that you are not bound to your stove. The rice cooker is doing all the work, and you can relax.
After the cycle has finished, don’t rush to open the lid. Let the cooked farro rest. An important part of the process is absorbing the water and soaking in all the aromas of the added spices. To cook farro perfectly, don’t skip this part.
Oiling is an excellent way to prevent farro from being sticky. Use olive oil for a classic tone or sesame oil for an Asian touch. Any oil will be effective in securing a proper texture for farro. If you are opting for a sticky, chewy texture, skip this step.
Your farro is ready to be served. It took less than an hour to go from uncooked farro to a nutritious side dish, the main ingredient for a farro salad, or a complete meal (like parmesan farro or farro with spinach).
As most folks are still not well acquainted with this grain from the wheat family, we are going to provide you with basic information on farro and its various types grown nowadays.
The hearty grain originates in Mesopotamia, but it traveled through time settling down in various countries on different continents. Traditionally, it’s considered a Middle Eastern grain, but it’s very popular in other places like certain parts of Italy.
Its nutty taste and fluffy or chewy texture (either one is easy to accomplish) resulted in lots of fans and dishes. Healthy carbs have always been sought after, and when there is a combination of elegant taste and nutritional value, the product inevitably becomes a hit.
Farro has several kinds which differ substantially:
- Whole grain farro. The healthiest variety of farro with a significant amount of fiber and protein and the strongest nutty aroma among all the farro types. Unlike any refined grains, it’s widely used for salads raising their nutritional value.
- Freekeh farro. The main difference of this kind of farro is that it’s harvested while still green. The green grains are roasted, thus getting an intense nutty aroma. This kind is mostly cultivated in Middle Eastern countries.
- Pearled farro. Like other refined grains, this type of farro has been freed from the shells and has a milder taste. But it contains less fiber. That’s the reason pearled farro takes less time to prepare whether in an instant pot, on the stove, or in a rice cooker.
- Semi-pearled farro. When the shells have been only partially taken out, the resulting grain will be in the middle between the whole farro and pearled farro. Some folks cannot consume too much fiber due to health issues, but they still want their food to be healthy, and semi-pearled Farro is a good alternative.
Now that we told you how to cook farro in a rice cooker, it’s time to say a few words about the variety of ways you can serve whole farro or its other varieties. When the rice cooker saved your time and effort to cook farro, you have a better chance to create a savory and delicious meal.
You can prepare a hearty and creamy Parmesan farro, just adding Parmesan or other spicy Italian cheese as well as some onion and garlic.
Cooking farro in vegetable stock will intensify the taste.
If you have cooked too much Farro, it’s not an issue. Leftover Farro is great for salads.
We love a farro salad, especially the one with feta cheese, cucumber, carrots, and some green parsley. A simple dressing of olive oil and vinegar is an accord, combining all the ingredients in a light and delicious ensemble.
When the days get colder, a hearty soup is a brilliant solution to the winter chill. All you need is our favorite farro, vegetable stock, pinto beans for additional protein, chopped carrot and celery, a diced onion, and a sprig of rosemary for exquisite fragrance. Add some tomato paste for a sour accent, and your delicious warming soup is ready.
We often cook farro in a rice cooker because it’s such an easy way to secure a savory and healthy dish with a unique flavor.
As you see, cooking farro is not a complex process. Farro prep time is absolutely sensible, and you need a minimum amount of ingredients to cook the grain.
After the farro is cooked you have endless possibilities in terms of the variety of dishes and flavors.
We hope you found our tutorial on how to cook farro in a rice cooker published in the article above useful. And we also hope that we could inspire you to try this amazing grain even if you don’t have a rice cooker and use other appliances like an instant pot or an ordinary stove.
If you want to know not only how to cook farro in a rice cooker, but also how to prepare lentils, please follow the link. We have more recipes for you!
Frequently asked questions
How much water do you put in a farro in a rice cooker?
3 cups of water should be an appropriate amount for each 1 cup of farro. This ratio is quite typical for various types of grains not only farro. This way, when the cooking time is over, your farro will have the ideal texture and won’t be watery.
How long does farro take in rice cooker?
It depends on the type of farro you are dealing with. The whole grain variety requires a longer period to soften because of its shell, whereas pearled farro won’t need as much time because its shell has been removed. The range is from 40 to 50 minutes. It’s a bit longer than if you cook on the stove, but with a rice cooker, you don’t have to watch the process or interfere.
How much water do I need for 1 cup of farro?
The ratio is 1:3, which means that three cups of water will be the right amount for one cup of farro.
Should farro be soaked before cooking?
You don’t need to soak farro before cooking it. However, consider rinsing it before putting it in the pan or a rice cooker. Rinsing helps get rid of the excessive gluten in the farro, making its texture fluffier.
Would you like to learn more on how to cook farro in a rice cooker? We recommend you to read one more recipe and choose the best cooking method.