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HIGH ALTITUDE COOKING

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					                        UNIVERSITY OF C ALIFORNIA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION Ÿ P UBLICATION #31-430

                              HIGH ALTITUDE COOKING

    Whether you’re staying at a cabin or camping        By increasing the pressure, the temperature at
in the mountains, you can cook successfully at        which water boils is raised and the food is cooked
high altitudes. The following tips and a little       more quickly.
patience will help you.
                                                         If your pressure cooker has a dial gauge, the
   What should you know about boiling water and       pressure must be increased one pound for each
food? As altitude increases, the temperature at       2,000 feet of elevation. If your pressure cooker
which water boils decreases at the rate of about      has weighted control, add three minutes of
1.9°F for each 1,000 feet.                            cooking time for each 2,000 feet of elevation (see
                                                      Table 1).
   Liquids will appear to be at a bubbling boil and
yet be several degrees cooler than the boiling            The differences in cooking times for
temperature at sea level. Because of this lower       barbecuing and broiling at high altitudes are
boiling temperature at high altitudes, foods          insignificant and no adjustment is necessary.
require longer boiling to become tender.              Oven roasting meat takes slightly longer at high
                                                      altitudes. Use a meat thermometer since there
   When canning at high altitudes, processing
                                                      are no definite figures on how long to increase
times must also be increased (see Table 1).
                                                      the cooking time per pound when roasting.
   Using a pressure saucepan or cooker offers
                                                         Altitude changes have little, if any, effect on
convenience at high altitudes for cooking meats,
                                                      pan-fried foods such as meat patties, steak, or
beans and other vegetables which require
                                                      eggs. Altitude also doesn’t affect the
relatively long cooking times.
                                                      temperatures of oil when you deep-fat fry.

Table 1:
ALTITUDE CORRECTIONS FOR WATER BATH CANNING
              Altitude                    20 Minutes or Less               More than 20 Minutes
               1,000                            1 minute                             2 minutes
               2,000                            2 minutes                            4 minutes
               3,000                            3 minutes                            6 minutes
               4,000                            4 minutes                            8 minutes
               5,000                            5 minutes                            10 minutes
               6,000                            6 minutes                            12 minutes
               7,000                            7 minutes                            14 minutes
               8,000                            8 minutes                            16 minutes
               9,000                            9 minutes                            18 minutes
               10,000                           10 minutes                           20 minutes

   PLACER COUNTY                                                                  NEVADA COUNTY
11477 E Ave (DeWitt Center, Bldg 306)   ONE-SHEET                      255 So Auburn St (Veteran’s Memorial Bldg)
Auburn, California 95603                                                           Grass Valley, California 95945
(530) 889-7385 • FAX (530) 889-7397
E-Mail: ceplacer@ucdavis.edu
                                         ANSWERS
                                         Published November 1999
                                                                         (530) 273-4563 • FAX (530) 273-4769
                                                                                 E-Mail: cenevada@ucdavis.edu
             UNIVERSITY OF C ALIFORNIA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION Ÿ P UBLICATION
...more on HIGH ALTITUDE COOKING AND CANNING #31-430
    However, internal moisture makes fried foods
 cook more slowly inside. Decrease oil
 temperature by about 3°F for each 1,000 foot
 rise in elevation to prevent food from over
 browning.
   When baking, increase temperature 3°F for
 each 1,000 feet above sea level. Other changes
 usually aren’t necessary below 2,500 feet.
    Baked foods may show startling changes at
 higher elevations due to variations in
 atmospheric pressure. You should change
 recipes to compensate for the difference in
 pressure. For example, in baking a cake, you
 may need to reduce baking powder or sugar and
 increase liquid.
    As previously explained, altitude affects the
 boiling point of water. This principle also affects
 pressure canning. Under 10 pounds of pressure
 at sea level, water boils at 240°F. As altitude
 increases, the temperature in a pressure canner
 at 10 pounds of pressure is less than 240°F.
 This difference is enough to affect the safety of
 canned products at altitudes above 2,000 feet.
    Table 2 below shows how to adjust pressure
 in a pressure canner at various altitudes.


Table 2:
ALTITUDE CORRECTIONS FOR PRESSURE CANNERS
                                   Altitude                                                                       Pounds of Pressure
                                       2,000                                                                                       11
                                       4,000                                                                                       12
                                       6,000                                                                                       13
                                       8,000                                                                                       14
                                      10,000                                                                                       15




  Adapted from TIPS FOR HIGH ALTITUDE COOKING, DANR-
  NR #FS103, by Susan Osaki and C. Gavranich. UC
  Cooperative Extension, Auburn, CA. 1994.

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United States Department of Agriculture, University of California, Placer and Nevada Counties cooperating.

				
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