Calgary rests 1,048 metres above sea level. This high altitude results in low air pressure, which makes cooking a wee bit longer than I’m used to. I honestly forgot about this when I moved here, so the first time my hard-boiled eggs came out soft came as a surprise. Back in Vancouver, I had it down perfectly. I thought I was losing my touch.
So, to spare you from cooking gaffes in front of company or the sound of own your voice screaming, “What did I do wrong?!”, here are some tips on how to cook at high altitude:
- Thaw food before cooking. Thaw food to make sure it cooks thoroughly when tossed on the pan or grill. Note: Even if you don’t live in a high-altitude city, do this anyway! Why wouldn’t you? Too lazy? No excuse.
- Increase cooking time. Since cooking takes longer in this environment, increase cooking time to compensate.
- Increase cooking liquid. Lower atmospheric pressure decreases the boiling point of water, so liquid evaporates faster and food may dry out faster.
- Grill over lower heat. This prevents food from drying out and burning.
- Use a meat thermometer. It’s easy to overcook meat, so use a meat thermometer to ensure proper internal temperature.
Good luck. Have a good meal.