Basic technique, Pressure cooker, Ramblings
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High Altitude Pressure Cooking Adustments

High Altitude Pressure Cooking Adjustment Chart

My question…do you know how long I would cook Instant Pot Pinto Beans at an altitude of 5000 ft?

Commenter Rhonda V

The rule of thumb for high altitude pressure cooking, Instant Pot or otherwise: For every 1,000 feet above 2,000-foot elevation, increase cooking time by 5 percent. In metric, that’s 5% for every 300 meters above 600 meters.

Pressure Cooking Adjustment By Altitude

AltitudeIncrease %Multiply Cooking
Time By
3000 ft / 900 m 5%1.05
4000 ft / 1200 m10%1.10
5000 ft / 1500 m15%1.15
6000 ft / 1800 m20%1.20
7000 ft / 2100 m25%1.25

Pressure Cook America

High Altitude Pressure Cooking Graphic, based on WPA Federal Art Project "See America - Welcome to Montana" by M. Weitzman
Apologies to the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project and M. Weitzman

Because I’m a habitual map looker, I stumbled across this list of the cities in the United States by elevation. Here are the cities with a population over 100,000 by elevation (according to Wikipedia):

CityStateAltitudePopulationIncrease %
CO SpringsCO6035 feet / 1839 m465,10120%
CentennialCO5830 ft / 1777 m110,25015%
LakewoodCO5518 ft / 1682 m154,39315%
AuroraCO5403 ft / 1647 m361,71015%
WestminsterCO5384 ft / 1641 m113,47915%
ThorntonCO5351 ft / 1631 m136,70315%
ArvadaCO5344 ft / 1662 m117,45315%
BoulderCO5328 ft / 1624 m107,12515%
AlbuquerqueNM5312 ft / 1619.1 m558,54515%
DenverCO5278 ft / 1609 m716,49215%
Fort CollinsCO5003 ft / 1525 m164,20715%
PuebloCO4692 ft / 1430 m111,12710%
GreeleyCO4675 ft / 1425 m105,44810%
ProvoUT4551 ft / 1387 m117,33510%
RenoNV4505.6 ft / 1373 m248,85310%
West JordanUT4373 ft / 1333 m113,90510%
West Valley CityUT4304 ft / 1312 m136,17010%
Salt Lake CityUT4226 ft / 1288 m200,54410%
Las CrucesNM3900 ft / 1200 m101,759 5%
El PasoTX3740 ft / 1140 m683,577 5%
AmarilloTX3605 ft / 1099 m199,248 5%

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts

Which Instant Pot Should I Buy?
Instant Pot Frequently Asked Questions
What to Do if I Dump Liquid Into My Instant Pot Without the Pot Liner

My Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Recipes list

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Filed under: Basic technique, Pressure cooker, Ramblings


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Dave Whittaker says

    I live outside of Denver at about 6,300 ft above sea level and have a ski house over 9,k ft above sea level. I have never adjusted any of your pressure cooker recipes, or those from any other site.

    • Steven says

      I have the same experience – I’ve lived in both Virginia and Denver, and the only adjustments I ever make to pressure cooker recipes are when the original called for a 15psi stovetop PC. But I can pour boiling water right onto coffee grounds without waiting for it to cool to 205 first 🙂

      Great site BTW – as a fellow dad cooking dinner and instant pot aficionado, I respect and appreciate the effort you’ve put into this. Tip of the hat to you sir and thanks for the recipes!

  2. In your first paragraph you say “2,000-foot”, Everything else is 3 000.

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