The Boiling Point of Water at Various Altitudes

Boiling Water
Indi Samarajiva/Flickr/CC 2.0

One of the most significant changes that occur in high altitude areas concerning cooking is the boiling point of water. As the altitude increases, the atmospheric pressure pushing down on water decreases, which allows the water to boil at lower temperatures.

A lower boiling point means that food cooks at a lower temperature, despite the fact that the water is boiling. It is important to recognize just how much the temperature of boiling water is reduced as the altitude increases.

With nearly one-third of U.S. households residing in high altitude locations, this simple piece of science can greatly affect your cooking. Check your altitude against this chart to see if you are cooking at lower temperatures than expected.

Boiling Point of Water at Different Altitudes

Altitude ft. (meters)Boiling Point - FahrenheitBoiling Point -  Celsius
0 ft. (0 m.)212 ºF100 ºC
500 ft. (152 m.)211 ºF99.5 ºC
1000 ft (305 m.)210 ºF99 ºC
1500 ft. (457 m.)209 ºF98.5 ºC
2000 ft. (610 m.)208 ºF98 ºC
2500 ft. (762 m.)207 ºF97.5 ºC
3000 ft (914 m.)206 ºF97 ºC
3500 ft. (1067 m.)205.5 ºF96 ºC
4000 ft. (1219 m.)204 ºF95.5 ºC
4500 ft. (1372 m.)203.5 ºF95 ºC
5000 ft. (1524 m.)202 ºF94.5 ºC
5500 ft. (1676 m.)201.5 ºF94 ºC
6000 ft. (1829 m.)200.5 ºF93.5 ºC
6500 ft. (1981 m.)199.5 ºF93 ºC
7000 ft. (2134 m.)198.5 ºF92.5 ºC
7500 ft. (2286 m.)198 ºF92 ºC
8000 ft. (2438 m.)197 ºF91.5 ºC
8500 ft. (2591 m.)196 ºF91 ºC
9000 ft. (2743 m.)195 ºF90.5 ºC
9500 ft. (2895 m.)194 ºF90 ºC
10000 ft. (3048 m.)193 ºF89.5 ºC

Temperatures have been rounded to the half degree.

How to Find Your Altitude

It is easier than ever to find your altitude online or with your cell phone. You can simply ask your voice assistant, "What's my altitude?" and get a quick answer. If you are using a desktop computer, you can do a web search of your location for the altitude.

If you have a GPS, it will also tell you your altitude.

High Altitude Cooking Tips

If you only had to worry about how boiling water is affected by altitude, it cooking wouldn't be as much of a problem. Your pot of water will come to a boil sooner as it will boil at a lower temperature than at sea level.

You would boil your food longer because it is boiling at a lower temperature. This means it takes pasta and rice longer to get done, and you may need to add more water to the pot as it boils off before they are the right consistency.

But boiling isn't the only thing you need to pay attention to. Each method of cooking, type of ingredients, and a combination of ingredients may require different tweaks to compensate for high altitude. As you can see in the chart, there is no one high altitude solution. See how you might change your cooking technique at high altitude.