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High Altitude Boiling Water-FYI

If you live in states, countries or proviences of high-altitude you know that you will need to make certain adjustments for your baked to to come out nice. The is a scientic reason for this that I won't discuss here.

 Water boils at a lower temperature at high altitudes, so when cooking pasta etc, you'll have to cook longer, and the pasta will absorb more water. Check it often to prevent a mushy mess.

Roasting procedures do not differ materially from those at sea level. Any procedure involving liquid will be proportionately lengthened as altitude increases. If you are doing any pressure cooking, the accuracy of the gauge is vital, and your home economics department or the county extension agent should be able to tell you where to get the gauge checked.

A dough that either bakes at 400 F or steams at 212 F for 20 minutes will cook in deep fat heated to 400 F in 3 minutes. A hard-cooked egg will cool in 5 minutes if plunged into ice water, but will need 20 minutes to cool in 32 F air. A vegetable that will cook in 20 minutes in water at 212 F will need only 2 minutes steaming under 15 Lbs. pressure at 250 F. In timing, a great deal depends on the freshness of food (this is especially true of vegetables); on the aging and fat content of meat; and on the size of the food unit. Large, thick objects like roasts need lower heat and a longer cooking period than do cutlets, to allow the heat to penetrate deep into the center. The amount of surface exposed is also a factor, as you have no doubt learned from experience with whole as compared to diced veggies.

Some other things to consider when figuring timing in cooking are:

Reflective and absorptive quality of the pan. Recent tests have shown that a whole hour can be cut from the roasting time of a 10 to 12 pound turkey if it is cooked in one of those dark enamel pans that absorb heat rather than in a shiny metal one that reflects it. The insulative qualities of foil when used in wrap-cooking.

Placement in an oven (yes, this CAN make a difference) Bottom, top or middle?

The temperature of the food at the onset of heating. (Room temp vs. refrigerated) For non-yeast baked goods, decrease the baking powder or baking soda. For example, if making biscuits, use one teaspoon of baking powder for each cup of flour. You almost never need much more than 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in anything unless the recipe calls for more than a cup of buttermilk or sour cream or yogurt.

Here is a table with the boiling point of water at various altitudes.

Degrees F

Degrees C

Sea Level 0 ft.



2,000 ft.



5,000 ft.



7,500 ft.



10,000 ft.



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