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Most cookbooks consider 3,000 feet above sea level to be high altitude, although at 2,000 feet above sea level, the boiling temperature of water is 208 °F instead of 212 °F. Most of the western United States (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) are wholly or partly at high altitude, however many other states contain mountainous areas that are also well above sea level. [Top of Page] How Is the Air Different at High Altitudes? Above 2,500 feet, the atmosphere becomes much drier. The air has less oxygen and atmospheric pressure, so cooking takes longer. Moisture quickly evaporates from everything. For this reason uncovered food will dry out quickly while cooking. [Top of Page] How Do High Altitudes Affect Cooking? At altitudes above 3,000 feet, preparation of food may require changes in time, temperature or recipe. The reason is the lower atmosphere pressure due to a thinner ... more
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