Can You Use an Extension Cord on a Traeger Grill? (Yes, if . . . )

If you just got a Traeger grill, or even if you’ve had it for a while, you may decide you want to move it further away from the outlet. After all, it’s not safe to be right up against a wall. You know it needs to be plugged in, but can you use an extension cord on a Traeger grill?

Here’s what I’ve learned from using mine and reading my manual:

Yes. Except for Europe, Traeger says it’s just fine to use an extension cord with their pellet grills. Their power cord is only 6 1/2 feet long so an extension cord helps ensure proper distance between the grill & house. Just make sure to use at least a 14-gauge grounded extension cord designed for outdoor use.

But that’s only the beginning of the questions that can come up. 

  • What gauge extension cord do you need?
  • Is the Traeger power cord detachable?
  • Maybe you don’t need an extension cord, but you need to replace the power cord. How do you do that?

I’ll answer all of these questions about Traegers and extension cords in this article.

Just keep reading!

How is a pellet grill powered?

Unlike traditional grills, Traegers need to be plugged into an outlet. Power usage is minimal. But it does need power to operate the thermostat, fan, igniter rod, and auger.

Make sure it is in the off position when you plug it into an outlet.

Fortunately, pellet grills run on a standard household electrical current. This may limit portability a bit, but so long as you access to a generator or inverter, you’re good to go.

The electricity from plugging it in turns the auger. That in turn, feeds the wood pellets from the hopper into the firepot. 

Then the electricity also gets used to light the wood pellets on fire. Lastly, an electric fan is used to help circulate both the smoke and the heat. In that sense, it’s not unlike a convection oven.

If this is the first time you’re using your Traeger, you’ll need to season it first before putting any food in. It takes about 50 minutes, but it’s not complicated and you only need to do it once.

To read about how to season your Traeger, just read this recent article. Not only do I talk about how to season your Traeger, but I tell you all about how to use it; it’s the ultimate beginner’s guide!

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Can I use an extension cord with my electric smoker?

While Traeger says not to use an extension cord for European made grills, it’s perfectly acceptable to use one on models in other countries, including the good ‘ole USA.

Just make sure the extension cord is the correct gauge, grounded, and used with a GFCI breaker.

That’s a good thing, too. Because the power cord that comes with a Traeger is only about 6 ½ feet long. While you likely have an exterior outlet, it’s probably within a few feet of a window or door.

If you’re smoking your next epic meal, the last thing you want is smoke rolling into your house. 6 ½ feet is not very long, so if you want to move your Traeger further from the house, you’re not going to have much choice but to use an extension cord.

Just remember to have it plugged into a GFCI breaker.

If it’s an outdoor outlet, it should already be a GFCI outlet.  GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. Just like outlets in your kitchen and bathroom that are close to a water source, these outlets have a tiny little circuit breaker that trips in 1/20th of a second in the event of some sort of problem, disruption, or if water were to get splashed into the receptacle.

It also needs to be the correct gauge.

Typically a 14-gauge cord will work well for the power required by a Traeger. The extension cord should also be rated for outdoor use. And, of course, it should be grounded (3 prongs).

If you are currently using an extension cord, give it a heat test after it’s been in use for a while. Does it get warm to the touch? If so, you should get a bigger gauge extension cord (which is a lower number), just to be on the safe side.

GET THE BEST TRAEGER EXTENSION CORD ON AMAZON! Just click that link to get a great American-Made 12 gauge extension cord that’s perfect for your Traeger.

50′ 15 amps, with thousands of perfect reviews! Free shipping too!

What gauge extension cord do I need for a Traeger grill?

For the best performance, use a 12 or 14 gauge extension cord in the shortest length required.

But there’s more to know than that.

Use the shortest length that you can. Typically, this should be 50 feet or less. 25 feet is even more ideal. Do not connect two extension cords together.

Connecting two cords together reduces their current capacity, resulting in greater heating of the cord. When the cord overheats, the insulation can get damaged. That’s how electrical fires get started. (source)

You also want to use a cord that is 15 amperes or more with a 3 prong grounding plug. It should be approved by UL and marked with a W-A. The tag should state specifically that it is “Suitable for use with outdoor appliance.” (source)

Do not use a 16 or 18 gauge extension cord. This could result in damage to household wiring or even lead to a fire. Despite the larger number, 16 or 18 gauge cords are smaller and designed for lighter duty. The smaller the gauge number, the more heavy-duty it is.

Fires can start for many reasons, not just electrical ones. Once you have the right cord, be sure to follow reasonable safety measures, too. Keep connections dry, and if possible, off the ground. Don’t let it hang over the edge of anything where it can be pulled or tripped over.

Sometimes even your Traeger might catch fire.

But it’s not as bad as it sounds. Before your Traeger catches fire, read this recent article. There I talk about the reasons your Traeger catches fire and what to do about it.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

GET THE BEST TRAEGER EXTENSION CORD ON AMAZON! Just click that link to get a great American-Made 12 gauge extension cord that’s perfect for your Traeger.

50′ 15 amps, with thousands of perfect reviews! Free shipping too!

Is a Traeger power cord detachable?

It is!

If you ever find that your cord isn’t working properly, you can purchase a replacement cord and install it with just a few simple steps.

Replacement cords are not hard to find and are relatively inexpensive, too.

This one on Amazon is an original part from Traeger. At less than $30, you can have power back to your grill in no time. And it’s compatible with all Traeger grill models, so there’s no guessing as to whether it’ll work with your machine.

One of the reasons that Traegers are so popular is their ease of use. Using a Traeger is as easy as turning on an oven. They are more accurate and simpler to operate than most grills. But Traegers are also really easy to clean.

Not only can they be used as a grill, but they also smoke, bake, roast, braise, and barbeque. It’s truly an all in one machine!

To read more about what a Traeger can do, and using your grill, read this recent article on my site.

Just click the link to read my ultimate expert guide on how to use your Traeger.

How do you replace the power cord on a Traeger grill?

To detach the power cord, first and foremost, make sure it is unplugged from the wall. Then, to get to the cord, you’ll need to remove the hopper.

Make sure the hopper is empty of any pellets. Remove the screws from the control panel on the hopper, and push it through the hole.

Then remove the hopper from the barrel of the grill. There are 4 screws total. Set the hopper aside. This exposes the power cord connection.

Unplug the black Molex connectors coming from the power cord. Loosen the ground screws in the grounding wire and using pliers, squeeze the piece holding the wire in place. Wiggle the wire out and feed it through the mounting hole.

Now you can attach your new power cord.

When you feed it into the mounting hole, be careful to snap the harness in place. Then repeat all of the previous steps in reverse order. Connect the holding piece. Connect the ground wire. Attach the hopper and put the control panel back in place. 

That’s it. Easy peasy.

You may want to consider leaving your Traeger plugged in when your grill is not in use. But there are circumstances where you should absolutely make sure to not have your Traeger plugged in 24/7

To read about whether you should unplug your Traeger, read this recent article.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Did I answer everything you wanted to know about using an extension cord with your Traeger?

Traegers are great grills to own.

Not only are they safe and easy to use, but they are easy to clean, too.

They need an outlet to work, but unfortunately, the installed cord is relatively short, coming in at 6 ½ feet.

Luckily, you can safely use an extension cord to keep the grill a safe distance from your house’s walls and to ensure smoke isn’t billowing into the house.

Just make sure it’s the right gauge, right length, and rated for outdoor use.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff was a leader for Whole Foods Market for over 2 decades and is now a recovering foodie. When he's not spending time in the kitchen, he can usually be found with his wife & 3 daughters, he can usually be found practicing martial arts, making music, or blogging on his other sites. Click to learn more about me

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