Water Boils at Different Temperatures Depending on Air Pressure and Altitude.
The Actual Boiling Point of Water
Resources > Home Chef > The Actual Boiling Point of Water

Are you a Smart Kitchen™ Chef?

Try it FREE or take a TOUR to explore Smart Kitchen!
+ -

Atmospheric Pressure and the Solutes in the water (what’s dissolved in the water) can alter the temperature at which water boils.

At a mile of elevation above sea level, the boiling point of water is reduced to 203°F (95°C) from 212°F or (100°C). The reduction occurs because of the lower atmospheric pressure at altitude. Cooking with boiling water takes longer at the lower temperatures. 

In fact, at high enough elevations boiling water may not be able to cook foods properly at all. The reverse is true as well, increasing the atmospheric pressure raises the temperature at which foods boil.

Similarly, water soluble substances, like salt or sugar, can elevate the boiling point but typically by very little and for all practical purposes we can rely on 212°F (100°C) as the temperature of boiling water at sea level.

A wet pot, with water clinging to the outside, increases the time it takes the water in the pot to boil. It doesn’t change the boiling temperature but redirects some of the heat energy to evaporating the external water. If you want to save time, wipe down those pots.

The Boiling Point of Water at Various Altitudes

Altitude     Temperature

Sea Level  212°F (100°C)

2,000 feet  208°F (98°C)

5,000 feet  203°F (95°C)

7,500 feet  198°F (92°C)

10,000 feet 194°F (90°C)