Extension Cords For Pellet Smokers, Electric Smokers, And Electric Grills
The built-in cords on outdoor cooking devices are often not long enough, and although regular household extension cords will work for rotisserie kits, they will not carry enough juice to keep you pellet smoker or electric smoker going. They could become a fire hazard as they heat up trying to deliver power to the unit. To extend the cord you need a large capacity cable as measured in amps. Here's how to figure out what you need:
Watts ÷ Voltage = Amps
If your smoker needs 500 watts, and typical household voltage is 110 to 120 volts, then you need a cable that has a capacity of 4.17 amps.
A rule of thumb: For home models, get at least a 10 amp 12 gauge three prong cord (oddly, 12 gauge is higher capacity than 14 gauge). That's more than you need, but better safe than sorry. Commercial models may have different requirements.
The best solution: Have an electrician custom make a cord the proper length for you. Don't buy a cable much longer than you need it because the longer the cable the higher the resistance and the power diminishes. You don't want to see the equations for that.
This page was revised 9/16/2013
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