Best Extension Cords for Pellet Grills

Best Extension Cord for Pellet Grills

All extension cords aren’t created equal. Some extension cords are manufactured and rated for outdoor use while others can only be used indoors.

There are also extension cords that are rated for heavy-duty use such as powering construction equipment and appliances.

So choosing the right extension cord for a pellet grill is important to ensure that the grill stays powered regardless of the weather outside.

The best extension cord for a pellet grill needs to safely transmit at least 700 watts of power, contain weatherproofing, and have an SJTW rating for safe outdoor use.

When powering outdoor appliances like pellet grills, the general rule of thumb is to use the shortest-length cord possible. Try not use a 100ft extension cord if a 25ft cord is sufficient.

Longer extension cords have more electrical resistance due to the distance the electricity has to travel to reach the pellet grill.

Pellet Grills Wattage Requirements

A pellet grill needs between 300 watts and 700 watts when igniting the fire during the first 5-10 minutes. Most of the electricity used during startup is powering the igniter to light the pellets and the fan to build the fire in the firepot. After the pellet grill is ignited, the pellet grill only requires about 30 to 50 watts of power to continue operating.

So an extension cord must be able to transmit peak wattage of up to 700 watts in order for a pellet grill to ignite.

Now let’s dive into the 5 things to look for when purchasing an extension cord before diving into the best extension cords for pellet grills.

5 Important Factors for Extension Cords

1. Rating

The extension cord should be rated for outdoor use, which is indicated with a ‘W’ in the rating.

Any extension cord being used to power a pellet grill should have a ‘W’ rating.

Extension cords are generally rated SJT or SJTW. Here is what these rating mean:

RatingMeaning
SService grade and means Heavy-Durty when not followed by J (600 V)
JJunior hard service. Same construction as S but 300V
TThe cord has a vinyl-thermoplastic jacket
WOutdoor use extension cord

So look for an extension cord rated SJTW when powering a pellet grill.

2. Length

Select an extension cord that has enough length to reach the pellet grill from the electrical socket.

However, try not to use a 100 foot extension cord if a 25 foot extension cord can reach the pellet grill.

Longer extension cords have more electrical resistance due to the distance the electricity has to travel to reach the pellet grill. Electrical resistance means less power to the grill.

If a longer electrical cord is needed to reach the pellet grill then choose an electrical cord with a larger gauge wire (e.g. 12-gauge instead of a 14-gauge) since larger gauge wires can transmit more electrical power.

3. Wire Gauge

Lower wire gauge indicates a larger wire diameter which can transmit more power. So a 10-gauge wire will transmit for power than a 14-gauge wire over the same length.

Generally, a pellet grill can be safely powered with a 14 gauge or 12 gauge extension cord since these are the most common wire gauges for home use.

If the extension cord has multiple outlets and is going to power multiple things such as the pellet grill, speakers, and lights then use a 12-gauge extension cord since this will transmit more power than a 14-gauge or 16-gauge wire.

4. Three-prong Extension Cord

The extension cord for your pellet grill should have a 3-prong plug that looks similar to modern outlets in US homes.

The third prong is the ground which will protect you and your property from electrical fire or shock by grounding excess power.

Although pellet grills can be powered by two-prong extension cords, the ground will be missing from these two-prong extension cords.

Three-prong cords are safer than two-prong cords so I strongly advise using a three-prong extension cord when powering a pellet grill.

5. Resistant to Water and Outdoor Weather

The extension cord that powers a pellet grill must be resistant to water and outdoor weather.

Most outdoor-rated extension cords are resistant to water, UV rays, and extreme temperatures which are needed to safely power a pellet grill.

Generally, SJTW rated extension cords will be able to safely power any pellet grill outdoors since they will have reinforced prongs, strong jackets made of plastic or vinyl, and insulation to withstand harsh weather.

Best Extension Cord for Pellet Grill

Now that we know the 5 things to look for when selecting an extension cord for a pellet grill, here are the best extension cords for pellet grills:

Best Overall: US Wire & Cable 50 feet Heavy Duty Extension Cord

Best Multi-Outlet: Kasonic 50 Feet Extension Cord with 3 Outlets

Best Retractable Cord: Meterk Retractable Extension Cord Reel 50 feet

Best Budget Retractable Cord: DEWENWILS Extension Cord Reel 25 Feet

Best Budget: Amazon Basics 50 feet 3-Prong Extension Cord

Best Overall: US Wire & Cable 74050 50-ft Heavy Duty Extension Cord

Features:

  • Lengths: 25 ft, 50 ft, or 100 ft
  • Rating: SJTW
  • Wire gauge: 12

This is the only 12 wire gauge extension cord on the list. The reason why this is so significant is that this extension cord will have the highest capacity when it comes to providing power so multiple devices could safely get plugged into this extension cord.

Not to mention the double insulation and the outer jacket made of vinyl will protect the cord from breaking, moisture, and temperatures as low as -35°F.

Special Feature:

  • Illuminated Female Plug
    • Indicates when extension cord has power
    • Easily visible in low light or at night

Best Multi-Outlet: Kasonic 50 Feet Extension Cord with 3 Outlets

Features:

  • Lengths: 50 ft
  • Rating: SJTW
  • Wire gauge: 16

Double insulation and the outer jacket made of vinyl will protect the cord from breaking, moisture, and low temperatures.

16 gauge wire is the smallest size on this list which limits the length this extension cord comes in. However, 50 feet is usually enough length to reach the pellet grill from the wall outlet.

Special Feature:

  • Triple Outlet
    • Allows for multiple devices to be powered from the same extension cord

Best Retractable Cord: Meterk Retractable Extension Cord Reel 50 feet

Features:

  • Lengths: 50 ft
  • Rating: SJTW
  • Wire gauge: 14

The cable reel itself must be placed in a dry environment such as a garage. However, the extension cord is oil, grease, and water-resistant.

The retractable cord allows for easy cleanup and the triple outlet allows for up to 3 devices to be powered at the same time making this the best rectractable cord on the list.

Not to mention this extension cord would make any garage workshop more usable with a retractable extension cord. This is one of the best gifts for any person who enjoys working outdoors or in the garage.

Special Features:

  • Triple Outlet
    • Allows for up to 3 devices to be powered from the same extension cord
  • Adjustable Cable Stopper
    • Cord can be extended up to 50 feet
  • Reset Button
    • Contains circuit breaker button on cord reel for easy reset
  • Swivel wall mount
    • Cord reel swivels 180 degrees to allow cord to easily be pulled in any direction

Best Budget Retractable Cord: DEWENWILS Extension Cord Reel 25 Feet

Features:

  • Lengths: 25 ft
  • Rating: SJTW
  • Wire gauge: 16

Unlike the wall-mounted cable reel, this retractable extension cord extends the 4 outlets closer to the devices. The downside to this design is that the 4 outlets are not water-resistant which means this cannot be used in the rain outside.

The cord is retractable but it must be manually wound up, unlike the wall-mount cable reel that automatically will pull the cable back in.

The retractable cord itself is SJTW rated so the extension cord is outdoor rated but the 4 outlets are not.

Special Features:

  • Quad Outlet
    • Allows for up to 4 devices to be powered from the same extension cord
  • Adjustable Cable Stopper
    • Cord can be extended up to 25 feet
  • Reset Button
    • Contains circuit breaker button on cord reel for easy reset

Best Budget: Amazon Basics 50 feet 3-Prong Extension Cord

Features:

  • Lengths: 15 ft, 25 ft, 50 ft, 75 ft, or 100 ft
  • Rating: SJTW
  • Wire gauge: 16

Amazon Basics makes the most affordable extension cords but the wire gauge is 16 which means a 100 ft cable can only provide 10 amps or 1250 watts of power.

Amazon Basics extension cords should not be used to power multiple devices or anything that requires a lot of power as the cords can overheat as seen in some of the reviews.

However, the Amazon Basics extension cord provides the best value and length options making this a great choice for a regular extension cord.

Special Feature:

  • Available in Orange or Green colors
  • Available from 15 feet to 100 feet in length

Extension Cord Comparison for Pellet Grills

Extension CordWire GaugeMax. Amps
US Wire & Cable 74050 50-ft Heavy Duty Extension Cord12 AWG15 Amps
Kasonic 50 Feet Extension Cord with 3 Outlets16 AWG13 Amps
Meterk Retractable Extension Cord Reel 50 feet14 AWG13 Amps
DEWENWILS Extension Cord Reel 25 Feet16 AWG13 Amps
Amazon Basics 50 feet 3-Prong Extension Cord16 AWG10-13 Amps

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Size Extension Cord is needed for Pellet Grills?

A: Extension cords that can safely transmit at least 6.7 amps of current are sufficient for powering a pellet grill. So any extension cord that is SJTW rated and has a 16, 14, or 12 wire gauge can safely power a pellet grill.

In order to determine if an extension cord can power a device, calculate the amps needed from the extension cord by dividing the watts drawn by the device by the power supply’s volts.

Example:

A pellet grill requires 800 peak watts powered by 120 volts from a household power socket in the USA will need the following amps:

800 / 120 = 6.7 amps

Most pellet grills will require less than 800 peak watts to ignite the grill so 6.7 amps will be more than enough to power a pellet grill.

So a suitable-length extension cord with enough capacity (wire gauge) is needed to transmit the electricity from the socket to the pellet grill. In this case, a 16, 14, or 12 wire gauge extension cord can safely power a pellet grill.

Q: Can You Use an Extension Cord with a Pellet Grill?

A: Extension cords can be used to power a pellet grill as long as the extension cord can safely transmit at least 7 amps of current. Generally, most extension cords that have a wire gauge of 16, 14, or 12 can safely power a pellet grill.

The peak wattage a pellet grill requires is about 800 watts during the ignition sequence so as long as the extension cord can provide more than 800 watts of power then the extension cord will power the pellet grill.

Keep in mind that since pellet grills must be used outdoors that an outdoor rated (SJTW) extension cord should be used to power the pellet grill.

Q: Can You Use an Extension Cord with a Pit Boss Pellet Grill?

A: An extension cord can be used to power a Pit Boss Pellet Grill. Look for an extension cord that can safely provide at least 800 watts of power in order to power the Pit Boss Pellet Grill through the ignition sequence.

Q: Can You Use an Extension Cord with a Traeger Pellet Grill?

A: An extension cord can be used to power a Traeger Pellet Grill. Look for an extension cord that can safely provide at least 800 watts of power in order to power the Traeger Pellet Grill through the ignition sequence.

Traeger recommends that you plug their grills into a 3-prong outlet with GFCI protection. For those in North America, you could use an extension cord to extend the reach of Traeger’s 6” power cord. The extension cord should be grounded and have a 3-prong receptacle.

For those in the European Union (EU), you CANNOT use an extension cord with your Traeger pellet grill. User manuals for each grill, such as the Traeger Pro 4730  manual, warn against the use of extension cords in the EU.

Q: What does SJTW mean?

A: SJTW stands for Junior hard service cord, thermoplastic insulated conductors with overall thermoplastic jacket, 300 V, 60˚C, 75˚C, or 90˚C and water-resistant for outdoor use.
S = Service, J = Junior, T = Thermoplastic/Vinyl, W-A = Weather Approved
Source: http://www.uswireandcable.com/glossary

Safety Tips for Using an Extension Cord for Outdoor Grill

  1. The cord’s amperage should be higher than your pellet grill. For a 1650Watt Master Built, the best extension cord would be a 10-gauge outdoor extension cord that can draw up to 1920 Watts.
  2. Do not connect the extension cord to more than one outdoor appliance at a time. It can overload the cord, causing it to heat up, burn or cause a short circuit. The motors of your appliances would also overheat because they are competing for power through the cord’s limited capacity.
  3. For long extension cords, choose a larger wire gauge such as 10 or 12. And always leave a safety margin. If the gauge is too small, then the grill will not have sufficient electricity to run its motor and heating elements.
  4. Buy a heavy-duty extension cord that will not break easily when exposed to heat or UV rays for a long period. It should not damage easily when exposed to the elements such as rain water or grease. For instance, US Wire & Cable 74050 50-ft Heavy Duty Extension Cord is a heavy-duty extension cord reinforced with blades to prevent accidental breakage.  It is also resistant to heat, cold temperatures, and UV rays.
  5. Choose an extension cord that can perform well in cold weather. Most extension cords do not provide satisfactory performance during winter or the cold season.
  6. Avoid extension plugs with signs of damage like exposed wires, cracked covers, or loose sockets. Don’t patch the cracks with electrical tape. It is safer to buy a new one than risk burning your house down.
  7. Do not plug your extension cord into another extension cord.
  8. Do not bend the cord while in use.
  9. Your extension cord should not overheat when grilling. It should not be hot to the touch. If it is then you may need to use a different extension cord with a larger wire gauge (e.g. 12 instead of 16) or use an extension cord with better insulation.
  10. Use your 3-prong cord plug with a 3-prong power outlet. Do not cut the ground pin or attempt to squeeze your plug in.
  11. Check that the cord has a certification code from independent laboratories such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories), CSA (Canadian Standards Association), or ETL (Intertek).
  12. Where possible, install more power outlets instead of buying extension cables. This is more so for your patio or backyard. It is much safer to connect power-hungry outdoor appliances such as pellet grills directly into the wall’s power outlet.
  13. Store the extension cord properly. Unplug from the socket and keep indoors.
  14. Keep the extension cord away from the pellet grill. This will protect the cord from grease, hot oil, and water spills. It also protects the wires from the grill’s very high temperatures.
  15. Dispose your extension cord at an e-waste facility when it no longer works.

Final Thoughts

The best extension cord should be the right length and wire gauge for your pellet grill. Ensure that the extension cord is rated for outdoor appliances and has enough amperage to conduct enough electricity safely to the grill.

Small wire gauge extension cords that are powering too many devices or items that require too much power will exceed the capacity of the extension cord and pose a fire risk.

Choose the right gauge and maintain all safety precautions when using the extension cord.

Most importantly – use an extension cord when necessary so you can get back outdoors to smoking some food on your pellet grill!

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Steven

I'm learning how to catch, grow, and cook my own natural food and my goal is to help others eat more food from nature. Eating natural food can taste great, be affordable and accessible with a little planning. Don't get me wrong, I still eat taco bell and pizzas every so often, but I'm trying to eat more dank food from nature! So let's eat tasty natural food together.

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