Epic Kitchen Fail: High Altitude Eggs

Stands of aspen trees in the Rockies, September 2017

Stands of aspen trees in the Rockies, September 2017

Dear Readers,

So y'all know my husband and I were out in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado last month.  When we travel we like to do our own cooking, and so there we were, making hard-boiled eggs as usual for breakfast.

Now, here at home in the Virginia Tidewater (30 feet above sea level), my recipe for hard-boiled eggs works great.  At our vacation rental in the Rockies (nearly 10,000 feet above sea level), however, it didn't work so well.  Actually, it didn't work at all: we ended up throwing the whole batch out after I (belatedly) realized all the eggs were still half-raw, and it was too late to fix it.

Why didn't it work?  At high altitude (considered 3,000+ feet above sea level), water comes to a boil at a lower temperature, due to the lower atmospheric pressure of the thinner air.  If you've ever tried baking at high altitude, you know it affects your baking process as well.

This Epic Kitchen Fail annoyed me because a) I was hungry with no breakfast and b) I really hate wasting good food.  So for any of y'all who may be planning to vacation and/or move to higher elevations, you've been warned!  Here is a printable handout from Colorado State University, with their recommendations about how to cook eggs at high altitude.  They advise bringing the eggs to a boil, simmering for 5 minutes, and then removing from heat and letting stand, covered, for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of the eggs).  I haven't had the opportunity to try this out at elevation, but I'd imagine it works better than my recipe does!  FYI.

Yours Truly,