What gauge extension cord for Traeger grill
Traeger pellet grills are perfect for people who love barbecue at home but may not be able to invest 14 hours into smoking that perfect brisket on an offset smoker.
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Traeger took the responsibility of fire management out of your hands so you could focus on getting the meat seasoned right and pulling it at the right time. However, the trade-off is that your grill now needs an electrical source at all times to run.
Traeger grills typically come with a power cord that is six and a half feet long. If you are concerned about having a grill too close to your house or simply want to have more flexibility for where you put your grill, you have probably considered using an extension cord.
Can you safely use an extension cord with your grill? What length and size should you get? What does gauge mean when it comes to extension cords and does it matter?
Why does the extension cord gauge matter for Traegers?
The gauge of an extension cord rates how well the cord delivers power.
The lower the number, the thicker the wire contained inside the cord. You want to make sure that whatever extension cord you use will handle the load your Traeger will be pulling. However, you also need to consider the length of the cord.
You want to use the shortest cord as possible because the longer the cord, the more resistance, which means less power getting to the grill. The further your grill will be from the house, you should select an extension cord with a higher gauge.
12 Gauge extension cord for Traeger
A 12 gauge extension cord is considered heavy duty and will be a great fit for your Traeger grill even at longer distances. It also gives you flexibility if you need an extension cord for other uses.
Southwire has a 50-foot outdoor cord on Amazon for $34.79 as of February 2022. It has a lighted end that indicates when the power is on, which can be useful for those late nights/very early mornings where you are putting brisket on your grill.
Its yellow jacket makes sure everyone can see it stretched throughout the yard so no one trips or accidentally pulls it out from either the outlet or from your Traeger cord. The 50 feet of cord gives you flexibility for wherever you want to put your Traeger without suffering power loss.
14 Gauge extension cord for Traeger
A 14 gauge extension cord is considered medium usage and will work well for your Traeger within normal distances from the outlet. If you are looking for a cheaper extension cord that will get the job done and has high visibility plus the plug that lights up when power is present, the Flexzilla Pro is a great fit.
It is available on Amazon for 19.99 as of February 2022. Its neon green appearance means it sticks out no matter where you run it, keeping everyone and your brisket safe.
Is a 16 gauge or 12 gauge extension cord better?
While the answer is truly dependent on what you are using the extension cord for, a 12 gauge extension cord can handle more power than a 16 gauge cord.
If you want your Traeger further away from your house, a 12 gauge cord will also be able to carry more power for longer distances than a 16 gauge cord.
Is it safe to use an extension cord with a pellet grill?
As long as you are using an outdoor extension cord with a low enough gauge cord, they are safe for use with your grill. Traeger does note in the owner’s manual that European users should not use extension cords, but other locations do not have the same warning.
If you are concerned about whether the extension cord you are using is safe, check the cord itself throughout use. If the cord is heating up, that is a sign that the cord is failing and you should shut your grill down. Remember, use the shortest cord possible.
How many amps does an electric smoker draw?
Traegers do not have a large electrical draw, requiring 4 or so amps during startup and running at 1.5 amps throughout the rest of the smoking process.
That means you do not need the lowest gauge extension cord if you are only looking to have your grill moved a little further from the house.
Extension cords are a great way to give yourself flexibility when it comes to setting your Traeger grill up for smoking. You need to keep in mind how the gauge rating system works and select outdoor extension cords that will ensure your grill is getting the necessary power.
While you may be tempted to get an extension cord longer than you need, keep in mind that the longer the cord, the more resistance there is, so you can suffer power loss with longer cords.
This article was written by Robert McCall, the founder of bbqdropout.com. Robert also owns and operates the BBQ dropout YouTube channel where he demonstrates his first-hand experience cooking all kinds of meats and strives to provide helpful, authoritative content for people looking how to barbecue.
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