# Extension cords and electric smokers

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#### normanaj

##### Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
I've no choice but I have to hook up to at least a 100'er.How much does this effect an electric smoker?Getting to temp and maintaining has got to be an issue with a cord this long???

Depends on wire gauge of cord and amps of unit. Best to match to avoid problems you will have with an undersized cord, overheating outlet, cord and poor heating and /or unit damage.
This is a quick chart I use

I've no choice but I have to hook up to at least a 100'er.How much does this effect an electric smoker?Getting to temp and maintaining has got to be an issue with a cord this long???
Not an electrician normanj but from my limited knowledge it all depends on several factors. The label on your smoker should indicate how many watts or amps that your unit draws. I’m assuming it is a 120 volt unit since you are talking about extension cords. I would say off the top of my head that 14 gauge extension should handle up to 10 amps and anything more than 10 amps I would move up to 12 gauge wire in an extension cord. Is this a temporary situation.
Weedeater

Just bought a 14 gauge 25 foot for my Masterbuilt. It has a 1650 watt element so I went with one that was for 1875 watts at 25 to 50 foot. 15 amps

It gets called a 15/3 , for handling 15 Amps and 3 prong I guess. It was only \$20.00

Your surely safe with 12 gauge 100 ft. Or squeak by with 14 Gauge 100 foot if yours is 1200 watt or 800 watt
Formula for how many amps yours is should be the watts divided by volts.

1200 W divided by 110 volts. = 10.9 amps
Or divided 120 volts is 10 amp you have.

800 watt masterbuilt 30 would be just over 7 amp cord you need..

Last edited:
mike5051
It gets called a 15/3 , for handling 15 Amps and 3 prong I guess. It was only \$20.00

A 15/3 extension cord nomenclature means it has 15 gauge wire with 3 wires inside the sheath, the 15 has nothing to do with Amps.

Like already stated match the Amp draw of the device along with the length of the extension cord to choose the right one. Longer extension cords require bigger gauge wire to draw the same AMPS as a shorter extension cord. Yep once again length matters. There's a ton of sites on the net that will tell you what size extension cord to get.

If you don't want to think about it much just get a 12 gauge cord for runs under 25 feet or a 10 gauge for runs under 50 feet and you'll be fine. You will find that the 12 and 10 gauge cords cost a bit more then your run of the mill 14 and 16 gauge cords.

He won't need 12 gauge for 1200 watt or 800.. but your average run of the mill cheapo 16 or 18 gauge ain't gonna cut the mustard.

I've no choice but I have to hook up to at least a 100'er.How much does this effect an electric smoker?Getting to temp and maintaining has got to be an issue with a cord this long???
No choice but to hook up a hundred footer?

Would be interested in knowing why so long. o_O

Heck, but a good quality thick gauge one and have an extra margin of safety. If you have any electric yard tools, get a good 12 gauge one and be done. You can always use a thicker wire with no issues, but if you use one that is too thin and not rated for the load you are asking for trouble (fire risk). Also using a too small a gauge will not provide the needed electricity to the heating element and controller so it may not work well or at all. Go big and be done.....

Anything with a motor is a much bigger issue, so if you are also going to use it with big electric yard tools, the heavy-duty extension cord is a good idea.

With a motor, the initial power surge is almost like a short circuit. I have an old air compressor, and if I use almost any length of extension cord, it will struggle to start, something that is really hard on the motor.

Electric smokers are strictly a resistive load which means they have no issue with startup surge. As for overheating the cord or outlet, neither will be an issue because the heat in the cord is dissipated over a long length of cord. The electronics in the smoker should have a regulated power supply, so it will maintain its 5 volts and/or 12 volts, regardless of any voltage drop through the extension cord.

So, get a decently large gauge extension cord, but you don't need to go overboard for this application.

No choice but to hook up a hundred footer?

Would be interested in knowing why so long. o_O

No choice.

Being in construction I understand cord gauge...just wasn't sure how this would affect something with a heating element as I've never dealt with this.

10 gauge it is.

100 foot 10 gauge is thicker than the line coming from the pole to in my house :D
Just kidding.. That's for a super duper smoker..
They cost like \$80.00

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