When I learned to cook rice in the New Orleans area, I used the following recipe:
In a big sauce pan measure 1 cup long grain rice to two cups room temperature water, salt to taste.
Bring to a boil, turn heat down to simmer, cover with lid for 30 minutes and rice is done. Never use a spoon in rice, only a fork. This is the way I was taught and it worked perfectly every time.
I moved to Indiana and tried the same method, same rice brand, same water, approximately the same type of stove. Now I have to use more water and less cook time, about 20 minutes total, instead of 30.
I know that Indiana is more than 700 feet above sea level, and parts of New Orleans are actually below sea level. But from what I have read, you ought to add to cook time when at a higher altitude, not subtract.
What causes this difference? Is it really due to altitude? Perhaps relative humidity? New Orleans has a very humid climate, Indiana is usually much drier. Today for example, I checked and Indianapolis has 39% relative humidity, and New Orleans – 90%.
Has anyone else heard of such a difference in cooking times? I would like to see if there is any kind of table giving cooking times based on local climatic differences. Please confine answers/comments to either experience or research.