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Unread 05-19-2013, 01:19 PM   #1
Outnumbered
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Default Question: High Altitude Cooking

I'm doing a comp in New Mexico next month and I'll be about 3,400 feet in elevation. Here in KC I'm about 1,100 feet. How will the altitude impact my cook? Do I need to cook at a higher temp? Take food to a higher temp in order to get probe tender? Will it take longer?

Just trying to plan out my times.

TIA.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 01:44 PM   #2
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At 3400 ft, it will take you a little longer to cook, but probably not too much.

I was camping at 7800 ft last year, and brought a Weber kettle along to cook some ribs hot and fast. What would normally have taken 2 hours wound up being nearly a 4 hour cook!

I would definitely be looking at a higher temp for sure just to be on the safe side.

What will you be cooking on?
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Unread 05-19-2013, 01:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outnumbered View Post
I'm doing a comp in New Mexico next month and I'll be about 3,400 feet in elevation. Here in KC I'm about 1,100 feet. How will the altitude impact my cook? Do I need to cook at a higher temp? Take food to a higher temp in order to get probe tender? Will it take longer?

Just trying to plan out my times.

TIA.
3400 shouldn't be a problem, but here is a reference..

high altitude cooking

Another Reference
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Unread 05-19-2013, 02:21 PM   #4
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Water boils at lower temperatures, so you'll definitely want to check the pots periodically to make sure the water is still covering the ribs.

Also, air pressure is much less. If you assume pressure is inversely proportional to altitude, then increasing your altitude by a factor of 3 would decrease your pressure by a factor of 3. If you assume the ideal gas law:

PV = nRT,

then you must also decrease the temperature by a factor of 3 to balance the decreased pressure. This means that if you normally cook at 270*, you should be good cooking at 90*, and if you're looking for an IT of 200*, then you should find that your food is done at about 70*.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 03:13 PM   #5
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Since I live at 7000 ft. and my house is at 70°, I am DONE.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 06:27 PM   #6
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Thanks...especially Gore. I knew I was boiling my ribs too long.

I am cooking on drums.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 07:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gore View Post
Water boils at lower temperatures, so you'll definitely want to check the pots periodically to make sure the water is still covering the ribs.

Also, air pressure is much less. If you assume pressure is inversely proportional to altitude, then increasing your altitude by a factor of 3 would decrease your pressure by a factor of 3. If you assume the ideal gas law:

PV = nRT,

then you must also decrease the temperature by a factor of 3 to balance the decreased pressure. This means that if you normally cook at 270*, you should be good cooking at 90*, and if you're looking for an IT of 200*, then you should find that your food is done at about 70*.
FARK!! Now i know what i've doing wrong!!! Here i thought you just started your pit, got it up to temp and threw the meat on
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Unread 05-19-2013, 07:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dreggs View Post
Since I live at 7000 ft. and my house is at 70°, I am DONE.
Hey, my advice was for 3400 ft. At 7000 ft, you've got to cut those temps again by 2. Your meat should be probe tender when you take it out of the freezer.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 08:38 PM   #9
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The 3400' will take you a little longer. I live around 5400', water boils at 206 and I even add time to my pressure cooked foods.

A comp guy I know that is on the Rocky Mountain circuit has a correction table he uses for the higher elevation cities.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 09:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gore View Post
Hey, my advice was for 3400 ft. At 7000 ft, you've got to cut those temps again by 2. Your meat should be probe tender when you take it out of the freezer.
Have to keep the freezer at -60° f, or the ice cream boils.
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