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Old 10-19-2014, 07:05 PM   #1
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Beet Boil Times - At High Altitude

Some idiot suggested that beets only took 25 minutes to boil to completion. I am stuck up here at 8000 ft in colorado and as you know due to lack of air pressure things boil at a lower temperature. It can be one and a half to two hours for beets. Even at sea level at my house in texas it took more like an hour. I realize the size of the beet will have an effect on cooking time, also I find when someone says they only take a short time, the beets must be really tiny. Well, I will put up with it and cook until they are done and butter them and enjoy anyway.

Oh, on another note, the recipes I have been reading say things like, if cooking at high altitude like 3000 ft. do this or that. Wait! Many of us up here in colorado and elsewhere are at or above 8000 ft. which makes cooking a very different proposition than 3000 ft. Oh, by the way I am referring to printed recipes dealing with appliances and good old betty crocker etc. Well anyway thanks for letting me blow off some steam.

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Old 10-19-2014, 07:39 PM   #2
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Try roasting them, you'll keep more of the flavor rather than losing it in the boiling water.

I cut off the leafy tops, scrub them, wrap them in foil but leave a little opening to drizzle in a little olive oil and seasoning, and put them on a baking sheet. Roast at 375. It's still going to take a good hour, depending upon how big they are. Let them cool enough to handle, peel, slice, and enjoy! I love beets.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmeheran View Post
Some idiot suggested that beets only took 25 minutes to boil to completion. I am stuck up here at 8000 ft in colorado and as you know due to lack of air pressure things boil at a lower temperature. It can be one and a half to two hours for beets. Even at sea level at my house in texas it took more like an hour. I realize the size of the beet will have an effect on cooking time, also I find when someone says they only take a short time, the beets must be really tiny. Well, I will put up with it and cook until they are done and butter them and enjoy anyway.

Oh, on another note, the recipes I have been reading say things like, if cooking at high altitude like 3000 ft. do this or that. Wait! Many of us up here in colorado and elsewhere are at or above 8000 ft. which makes cooking a very different proposition than 3000 ft. Oh, by the way I am referring to printed recipes dealing with appliances and good old betty crocker etc. Well anyway thanks for letting me blow off some steam.
My parents had a condo in Silverthorne at a bit over 9000 feet, and Mom had the same issues you have.

Learning to cook in the mountains is an exercise in experimentation. I lived in Denver at 5500 feet and even that necessitated some adjustments. Water boiled at 206 instead of 212, so even something as simple as boiling potatoes took considerably longer than it does at sea level. You have found out that "high altitude" in recipes is about 5000 feet lower than where you are. However, it really only affects boiling and baking. For boiling or simmering, that just means cooking longer and watching the pot a bit until you learn how long things take.

Baking is more of a chemical reaction and needs more attention. Here is a good site with some basic suggestions, but they still say that you have to just experiment a bit. Basically, I'd test on family and close friends before I'd plan a recipe for a party. Baking at altitude
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:18 PM   #4
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I had to relearn how to bake when we moved to a lower altitude here in Montana. Losing 4000 ft made a big difference.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:58 PM   #5
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When Beth posted about making cookies at a higher altitude, Creative in England didn't understand what she meant. Understandably so, since she lives at sea level in England. This is the perfect thread for her to read.

It definitely is a whole new learning experience if you go from sea level to higher altitudes in the mountains in just a matter of days. At my age I am staying put.
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