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Old 04-16-2011, 11:51 AM
950 posts, read 2,156,518 times
Reputation: 1006


When we are in the mountains (9200 ft), our microwave popcorn always burns. Is this an altitude issue? I've never seen high altitude instructions, as sometimes seen for baking.

Thanks for your input on this important topic
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:05 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
23,604 posts, read 39,510,185 times
Reputation: 20401
That does make sense to me.

Popcorn pops when the internal moisture boils, causing the inside to expand
until it bursts. At higher altitudes water boils at a lower temperature, therefore recipes are altered, things cooked by boiling have to cook longer. In your case, if you take more time to pop the corn, the earliest to pop will end up burning by sitting there too long after popping. While microwave popcorn is convenient, we use an air popper. We're only at 700' so the microwave type works fine, but it's healthier, and a lot less expensive when you buy a huge container at Costco. With the air popper I think your problem would be solved, since the heat that hits the already popped corn is not enough to burn it since it moves up higher and out the top into the bowl.

I'd still be curious to hear if others in high altitudes have your same problem.
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Old 04-16-2011, 02:01 PM
Location: Littleton, CO
2,396 posts, read 3,666,315 times
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No issues, Denver it's 2 minutes, Dillon it's 2 minutes, and Daytona Beach it was 2 minutes
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:39 PM
Location: Laughlin, NV and Southern Colorado
122 posts, read 284,103 times
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At 7900' it's 2 min, 10 sec but not very good....ever....compared to near sea level. For all else, the high altitude cooking instructions don't seem to apply. Microwave popcorn seems to be the exception....unfortunately.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:29 PM
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,138 posts, read 23,531,344 times
Reputation: 6702
I always get too tired carrying my microwave up that high. Then there's the issue of where to plug it in.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:57 PM
11,381 posts, read 21,073,158 times
Reputation: 13826
Heh. The first time I was at Colorado altitude (1978, somewhere outside Alamosa, we were trying to make scrambled eggs. The egg mixture bubbled away and never solidified.
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:56 AM
168 posts, read 292,035 times
Reputation: 137
This reminds me of when my youngest (6 yrs old at the time) asked if microwave ovens even worked "up that high".....she figured the mountains would "block the waves".....

I never did get the hang of baking at higher altitudes......we ate a lot of strange looking deserts that first year.......
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:52 PM
331 posts, read 797,096 times
Reputation: 331
I'm above 8k feet, and I still just use the "popcorn" button on my microwave at home and at work. It's a little over 2 minutes. I do the "wait for 2 or 3 seconds between pops" audible test.

Then again, I burned the first couple of pizzas I baked by following the 'high altitude' instructions. Now I just bake things at normal temps and times, and it usually turns out fine.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:56 AM
1,190 posts, read 876,494 times
Reputation: 1773
yuk....Air popped corn....It tastes like styrofoam to me....no thanks..
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:11 AM
Location: DENVER
1,437 posts, read 3,763,282 times
Reputation: 980
anybody try jiffy pop at high altitude
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