How High is High Altitude?

Dear Home Ec 101,

I used to live about as close to sea level as one can get, but recently we moved to the mountains of New Hampshire.  Do I have to worry about the high altitude directions?


High on the Hog

Heather says:

At sea level air there is about 14.7 lbs of air pushing down on everything.  As you journey skyward this pressure is diminished affecting things such as the boiling point of water and evaporation (we are keeping this simple, folks).   With less pressure carbonation expends itself more quickly as the carbon dioxide outgasses from liquid. Baking soda and powder work more quickly causing cakes and muffins to possibly need to be baked at a higher temperature.  Around 3,000ft above sea level these variables can drastically affect some recipes. has a fantastic chart with suggested adjustments for high altitude cooking.

Best of luck in your new home.


  1. Elise on August 9, 2008 at 8:08 am

    I lived all my childhood and beginning of “adulthood” at approximately 5.000 thousands feet and I never felt the need of changing any cooking directions.

    Or maybe sometimes we had to bake longer /boil for some more minutes ???

    I never really noticed, but I never really cared either !

  2. Angela on August 8, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    I lived in Idaho for just over five years and while most things I didn’t have to change, cakes and brownies HAD to be. Caused me many headaches as things didn’t turn out and I tried and tried to adjust. I eventually found recipes that worked but honestly that is one more reason I’m happy to be back in TX…less stress.

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