In recent years, β-glucan has been widely used in the production of various foods due to its remarkable health benefits and functional properties β-Glucan exists in various cereals such as oat, barley, highland barley, and wheat. There are differences in content, distribution, structure, functional properties and physiological activities of β-glucan in different cereals, thus affecting the application of β-glucan in food processing. Therefore, we illustrated the research status of the preparation method, nutrition, physicochemical properties, functional properties, and health benefits of cereal β-glucan and its polysaccharide, lipid and protein complexes. Besides, the problems occurred in the application of cereal β-glucan in food production were summarized. This review is anticipated to provide reference for the further development and utilization of cereal β-glucan.