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
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.
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
Published November 1999
(530) 273-4563 • FAX (530) 273-4769
UNIVERSITY OF C ALIFORNIA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION Ÿ P UBLICATION
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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
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
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.
ALTITUDE CORRECTIONS FOR PRESSURE CANNERS
Altitude Pounds of Pressure
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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