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Difference Between Barley and Wheat



Barley and wheat belong to our everyday diet and most of us consume them interchangeably. Yet there are those who use the two specifically, that is, when they should be used but do not know the actual difference between the two. They consider barley and wheat to be the same but they are two different types of grasses. Barley is usually harvested in warmer seasons; so it is usually harvested in spring time and wheat best thrives in cooler climates so it is harvested at the start of winter.

Barley is used as procure cereals and it can also be used in livestock fodder as well as in brew beer. Usually wheat has a very high commercial value. From wheat breads, a lot of things can be made which includes flour, noodles, crackers, pancakes, livestock feed and also alcohol. Moreover we can also make carpets, paper, wheat baskets and even breeding for cattle by using barley.

Wheat, on the other hand, is considered to be a lesser tough grass and weaker in taste than barley so more alcohol is made from barley. In order to cook wheat, it first has to be milled before cooking. The cooking is also a bit complex. This is not true for barley that can be cooked easily as rice. Barley has a higher fiber content in it than wheat. Wheat is usually used for making bread.

There are many different types of wheat and every variety has a different use in foods. Hard red wheat is used to make bread flour. Durum wheat is used to make macaroni and spaghetti. Pastry could be made from white wheat. Biscuits, crackers and cake could be made from soft red wheat. The use of barley is also quite extensive. It is usually used for making beers. Beer can be made by malting the barley. When barley is malted, it is harvested. Then the malt is used to make beers and some of the malt is used to make breakfast cereals and other cereal products. When wheat is ready to be harvested, it is brown or golden hue but when barley is harvested it is in yellow-white hue.


Wheat has a shorter beard but barley has a longer beard. Barley has long clasping auricles that are not hairs. The auricles on wheat plants are shorter and have small hair. There are many benefits which we can get from consumption of barley, which is high in carbohydrates, fats, proteins, dietary fiber, and many vitamins including Vitamin B, as well as iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, potassium, riboflavin and folate. Wheat also has a high nutritional value as it comprises of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and dietary fiber as well as iron, magnesium, vitamin B, calcium, folate, zinc, manganese, potassium and starch.

Wheat and barley both have their individual importance on their own sides. Both are very much needed by the body in the right quantity. Therefore it is essential to know the difference between them as well as when they should be consumed.


  1. Barley is harvested in warmer seasons, that is, in the spring time whereas wheat best thrives in cooler climate
    Barley is used more for making alcohol
  2. Wheat has a weaker taste whereas barley has a stronger taste
  3. Barley has a higher fiber content than wheat
  4. Barley can be cooked easily as rice although wheat has to be milled before cooking
  5. There are many types of wheat such as hard red wheat, from which bread flour can be made, soft red wheat used to make biscuits, crackers and cake, durum wheat used to make macaroni and spaghetti, white wheat used to make pastry; Barley is usually used for making beers by malting the barley which is then harvested, from the malt some other products can also be made such as breakfast cereals and other cereal products
  6. When wheat is ready to be harvested it is in brown or golden hue and when barley is harvested it is in yellow-white hue
  7. The wheat has a shorter beard but barley has a longer beard
  8. Both wheat and barley have many useful components that the body needs such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, dietary fiber and so on

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  1. how can i know the difference more clearly just by looking at them

  2. This was a fabulous answer; thank you.

  3. Summary #5 is 100% incorrect. Barley must be dehulled before cooking for eating (but not for malting in brewing for instance), unless you want what amounts to a mouthful of chaff with every bite. The author is likely thinking of pearl barley which has been processed to remove much, or all, of the bran. Or possibly dehulled barley, which is exactly what it sounds like, and looks very similar to wheat.

    Wheat certainly can be cooked whole (it does not have a tough hull like barley), and makes a very nice salad or hot cereal. When I was younger with wonderful teeth I’d eat a little handful of wheat raw straight from the combine. I wouldn’t try that today, but a week or so before harvest when the kernels are still fairly high in moisture raw wheat is marvelous snack, though you have to thresh it out in your hand! You wouldn’t want to try that with barley unless you had a very good supply of toothpicks.

  4. I am sure you have not used spell check as this article is full of spelling mistakes which makes it really annoying to read. Suggest you get a proof reader.

  5. I agree with Holly, the article needs to be edited, not just spell-checked — there are several confusingly constructed sentences and paragraphs.

  6. This is a very poorly written article and quite confusing in its detail. Get an editor and take it off this site until you get it cleaned up. Too many points to itemize.

  7. You say, “Barley is usually used for making bears”. I like bears but I think you mean Beers.

    You don’t clarify the difference between pot barley and pearl barley.

  8. I didn’t know bears tastes of malty goodness. I’ve only ever had bear sausage and didn’t notice they came from barley.

  9. Barley is used for *Beers*
    it is extremely hard to malt a bear.

  10. Im giving my 2 yr old cooked barley or sometimes stampkoring cooked and drained to drink instead of milk cause he is an lactose intolerant child and I can’t afford his milk so I give the stampkoring or the barley instead .
    Will it be an bennifit or an disadvantage for his growth.pls reply

  11. Unsatisfactory answer

  12. It is a useful article

  13. Please I need the botanical differences between barley and wheat?

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