PDA

View Full Version : Q'n at 9,000 Feet


Jeff_in_KC
07-23-2007, 02:14 PM
We'll be out cooking at the BBQ at the Summit comp in Dillon, Colorado in a couple weeks. I have not ever cooked at this elevation (9100 feet). What can I expect different than down here at around 1,000 feet? I'm guessing more fuel consumption and more coals to maintain the same temp that I get down here on the flatland. How about longer cooking times, etc.? We typically start briskets and butts around 2am. Will I need to start earlier? Will I need to have a small fan blowing into the intake of the firebox? Thanks!

Bossmanbbq
07-23-2007, 02:38 PM
We'll be out cooking at the BBQ at the Summit comp in Dillon, Colorado in a couple weeks. I have not ever cooked at this elevation (9100 feet). What can I expect different than down here at around 1,000 feet? I'm guessing more fuel consumption and more coals to maintain the same temp that I get down here on the flatland. How about longer cooking times, etc.? We typically start briskets and butts around 2am. Will I need to start earlier? Will I need to have a small fan blowing into the intake of the firebox? Thanks!

Jeff, give me a shout if you need to. Living in Colorado I can tell you it may take you a little more time for your stuff. Even with my living on the plains, when I cooked at Frisco two weeks ago I put my stuff on 1 hour earlier then I do at home and my brisket was done just in time with 10 minutes to spare!
It also depends if your cooking your butts and brisket and holding them prior to turn in. I guess from my experience plan on an extra hour to your cook time.
Would have made this contest but have to be in Kentucky for a national police conference. If your planning on selling, teams on a average are making $2000 and up! Friends of ours made $6000 in two days in Frisco.

SoEzzy
07-23-2007, 02:44 PM
For the most part cooking at altitude is like cooking anywhere else when you are talking bbq.

But the settings you are used to on your vents, especially the intake vents will be different, you will need to make them more open to get the same oxygen content through them, you won't need a fan as an extra, but if you use a guru or similar blower, you will again need to increase the flow for a given temperature.

If you are cooking with your cooker at 250 at 1,000' it will take 1 - 1.5 hours / pound to cook your meat, if you are cooking at 250 at 9,500 it will still take you 1 - 1.5 hours / lb to cook your meat, the same temperature will cook in the same time.

The biggest differences come when you are either trying to boil, bake or braise, because of the reduced air pressure at altitude water boils at a lower temperature it changes about 1 F for every 566 ft, so the change in boiling point at 9,100/566 = 16.07.

Boiling point of water at sea level = 212F, so bp at 9,500 = 212 - 16 = 196F, so remember this when you are boiling the water to brew a pot af coffee, put a close fitting lid on the pot and the pressure will help get the water boiling at a high enough pressure/temperature to make better coffee.

If you are going to bake a dessert for the "anything butt" then you may want to add some extra baking powder to help with the lack of lift in the crust.

http://cerc.colostate.edu/titles/P41.html is a page from the Colorado State University, that has many of the boil, bake and braise details along with some other useful suggestions.

Rusty_Barton
07-23-2007, 03:10 PM
When they start Q'n on the moon, NASA will have to add oxidizer to the lump. :wink:

Jeff_in_KC
07-23-2007, 03:12 PM
Excellent news all the way around, guys! Thanks!

thirdeye
07-23-2007, 03:41 PM
In addition to the baking changes mentioned earlier, dig this....At my house (5300') water boils around 202, at 9000' water boils around 195.
So if you are thinking about making a pot of beans, (from scratch) the higher elevation will really kill you. At home I cook them on the stovetop with a little added time. Anytime I cook them up in the high lonesome, I take vacuum bags of my homemade or use canned beans. A pressure cooker is the only other choice. :-P

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
07-23-2007, 03:44 PM
Jeff -- one more hint. You will not be able to do things as fast yourself at that altitude. Plan on more time for setting up and doing anything else that requires exertion. It takes several days to get used to working at high altitudes.

You can have fun at the same rate as lower altitudes, however, so enjoy!

lwest99
07-23-2007, 04:31 PM
Jeff, I talked with you at Peculiar. We cooked at Dillion and as SoEzzy points out your vents will probably need to be set different. When we cook in the area we keep our vents closed for the most part because our firebox door is a little off and lets enough air in that way. At Dillion we had to run the vents much more open. Almost all the way. Other than that we were able to maintain our temps pretty well.

At Dillion they are very strict on fire prevention. Make sure you have a good fire extinguishers. I believe they require a certain class like class C but I cannot remember for sure. They also require you stacks to have some kind of chicken wire to prevent embers from escaping. Your spicewine may have something like that in the stack and that will work but we had to run around friday morning getting chicken wire and the correct extinguisher before they would let us fire up our smoker.

Bentley
07-23-2007, 04:45 PM
For the most part cooking at altitude is like cooking anywhere else when you are talking bbq.

But the settings you are used to on your vents, especially the intake vents will be different, you will need to make them more open to get the same oxygen content through them, you won't need a fan as an extra, but if you use a guru or similar blower, you will again need to increase the flow for a given temperature.

If you are cooking with your cooker at 250 at 1,000' it will take 1 - 1.5 hours / pound to cook your meat, if you are cooking at 250 at 9,500 it will still take you 1 - 1.5 hours / lb to cook your meat, the same temperature will cook in the same time.

The biggest differences come when you are either trying to boil, bake or braise, because of the reduced air pressure at altitude water boils at a lower temperature it changes about 1 F for every 566 ft, so the change in boiling point at 9,100/566 = 16.07.

Boiling point of water at sea level = 212F, so bp at 9,500 = 212 - 16 = 196F, so remember this when you are boiling the water to brew a pot af coffee, put a close fitting lid on the pot and the pressure will help get the water boiling at a high enough pressure/temperature to make better coffee.

If you are going to bake a dessert for the "anything butt" then you may want to add some extra baking powder to help with the lack of lift in the crust.

http://cerc.colostate.edu/titles/P41.html is a page from the Colorado State University, that has many of the boil, bake and braise details along with some other useful suggestions.


Where were you when I needed to look at someone else's test in school!

Jeff_in_KC
07-23-2007, 08:05 PM
Jeff, I talked with you at Peculiar. We cooked at Dillion and as SoEzzy points out your vents will probably need to be set different. When we cook in the area we keep our vents closed for the most part because our firebox door is a little off and lets enough air in that way. At Dillion we had to run the vents much more open. Almost all the way. Other than that we were able to maintain our temps pretty well.

At Dillion they are very strict on fire prevention. Make sure you have a good fire extinguishers. I believe they require a certain class like class C but I cannot remember for sure. They also require you stacks to have some kind of chicken wire to prevent embers from escaping. Your spicewine may have something like that in the stack and that will work but we had to run around friday morning getting chicken wire and the correct extinguisher before they would let us fire up our smoker.

Thanks Lee.... do you mean something like window screen? Chicken wire wouldn't keep anything but big chunks blowing out the top! :lol:

Nice of them to tell you in advance... nothing on their Web site about it that I can find.

tkuehn5410
07-23-2007, 09:22 PM
Another important thing to remember is you can get sauced more quickly while you are cooking. So in between beers you can sip on a little water or just get a little more loose than you usually do at an event like this.

lwest99
07-23-2007, 10:31 PM
Yes something like windows screen will work fine. Even though there is no possible way any embers could get out of our stack they still make you have one. I think you could probably tell them your stack already has screen built it and they would sign off.

Also very true what tkue said. We did have to drink lots of gatorade so we did not get dehydrated.

Jeff_in_KC
07-24-2007, 01:23 AM
LOL! Maybe Jay will send me something that says there is a spark arrester installed internally. :wink: I've yet to see anything other than smoke come out the top of that box! :roll:

got the requirements now... they claim they posted tonight on their Web site after I emailed asking but I don't see it. They emailed me the document... not sure WHO would provide an inspection of as fire extinguisher.