# why does pasta take longer to cook in the mountains

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The higher you go, the lower the atmospheric pressure and you may start to feel short of breath (and on the highest mountains you’ll want breathing equipment).

With lower pressure, water doesn’t need to be heated so much before it turns into steam, and it doesn’t boil at 100C/212F any more, but at a lower temperature. So you’re cooking your pasta at a lower temperature than the packet instructions expect and it’s going to take longer.

Incidentally, this is also why it’s impossible to make a decent cup of tea up a high mountain!

It’s the same for all substances – the melting and boiling points aren’t fixed. Any you see quoted are for standard pressure at sea level, and if the pressure is different, they’ll be wrong. You can even draw a phase-temperature diagram – a graph of how it changes with pressure.

Put some water in a sealed container and pump the air out, and you’ll get to a point where it’ll boil at room temperature with no heating!

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## Why does pasta take longer to cook in the mountains ?

Water will boil at high altitudes, but it is not as hot as boiling water at sea level. … Because the temperature of the boiling water is lower at high elevations than at sea level, it takes longer to cook at higher altitudes than at sea level. Because water boils at a lower temperature at higher elevations, foods that are prepared by boiling or simmering will cook at a lower temperature, and it will take longer to cook. High altitude areas are also prone to low humidity, which can cause the moisture in foods to evaporate more quickly during cooking.

## Why is it harder to cook pasta in the mountains?

The key factor is declining air pressure at higher altitudes. Falling air pressure lowers the boiling point of water by just under 1 degree Fahrenheit for each 500 feet of increased elevation. The lower boiling point means water will cook off more quickly, and at a lower temperature.

## Does pasta take longer to cook at high altitude?

Therefore, you need to cook foods a bit longer than you would at sea level. Pasta, for example, may take seven minutes to reach the al dente state at sea level, but it could take nine or 10 minutes to achieve the same result at 3,000 feet.

## Do things cook faster at high altitude?

Air pressure is lower, so foods take longer to cook. … Temperatures and/or cook times may need to be increased. Water boils at a lower temperature, so foods prepared with water (such as pastas and soups) may take longer to cook.

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