Why does high altitude affect your baking such as ingredient amounts, or cooking time?

182 views

[ad_1]

Why does high altitude affect your baking such as ingredient amounts, or cooking time?

In: Physics
[ad_2]

The boiling point of water is 100 degrees C but only at sea level. Above sea level, it’s actually lower due to lower atmospheric pressure.

Air pressure is lower, so water boils at a lower temperature. Lower temperature for water boiling messes with lots of fundamentals of cooking. The proteins in the food aren’t ‘cooked’ as well at a slightly lower temperature, so you have to adjust the ingredients and cooking time.

Pasta is a good example of this. The heat of the boiling water in pasta is what forces the moisture into a dried noodle. When water boils it builds up enough energy, in this case thermal energy, to overcome the natural atmospheric pressure. At higher altitudes there is less atmospheric pressure and therefore it takes less thermal energy to get it to boil. So water can boil at much lower temperatures. But having the water boiling at a lower temperature means that it will take longer to actually cook things.

I am used to cooking around sea level normally, and can whip up a batch of breakfast tacos in about 15 minutes on high heat. When I visit the cabin in Colorado it’s at 12,000 ft above sea level, and the same recipe takes close to an hour to cook all the eggs and vegetables on high heat, because while the liquids are furiously boiling they’re almost twenty degrees cooler.