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What is the take on extension cords? Masterbuilt don't like 'em. How do CS feel about 'em? Toro have VERY specific requirements for their electric equipment.

Using the wrong cord can kill your gear. Cause everything to go wrong. A too small gauge will not get the power to your smoker. BTW anything that makes heat requires a significant amount of juice.
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Originally posted by doogster:
Actually I only posted a new thread cause smokinokie asked me to.

I do know how to use a search function.

Because it was buried in another thread and wasn't sure about the specific question.

So, after reading the 14 pages of results in a search for extension cords, did you have a specific question about them?

Don't use them if you can help it. Use a heavy guage if you do.
I use an outside duplex outlet that is the omly one on that circuit, has #10 wire from 30 amp breaker and its own personell protective breaker.I make my own extension cords from high quality 3 12 awg neoprene jacked cover power cord I buy from a electrical supply house. Over the years I've found many wall outlets inside and outside thar are worn out. Feel thee plugs when your unit under power is warm/hot, you may have a serious problem, check it out, get a qualified electrican. If you have a digital meter and are qualified, measure the voltage at each end of the extension cord, if there is a difference of 5 volts or moore with a load on the output you nrrf yo look into it. Sometimes the extebsion cord is to long, or has bad plugs and somettimes the house electrical system is overloaded. Don't waste your money on cheap extension cords.
Before someone asks, I'm not an electrican, oworked in the radio/electronic repair field for 40 years and worked part time as an apprentice electrican.T respect electricity, you can't see it and it can kill you.
Actually, if you measure any difference in voltage, GET IT CHECKED OUT!!! The lower the wire size number the more current it can carry. 12 ga is good 10 ga is better. Most homes have only 12 ga wiring and so 10 ga would be over kill at home. The more plugs and recepticles in the loop, the more chance for resistance to current and wire/plug heating. I am an electrical engineer and use a 10 gauge high dollar extension cord on my FEC.

Figured as much, I can use mine without an extension, I was thinking of the other thread (about ordering the Amerique, asking for ideas as to where to set it up) wondering how you gonna get juice to it? I know Masterbuilt highly recommend plugging straight into the outlet. Mine's going on the covered back patio, there's a plug right there.
I know there's a lot of variables in this and a whole lot of posts and info about using extension cords, but I just thought I'd post my findings, which may very well be different for someone else.

Where I have to put my Cookshack Smokette in order to keep it covered, I have to use a 25' extension cord. Because I was concerned about the drop in amps and voltage, I purchased a Kill A Watt P4400 to measure it.

According to my information from Cookshack, the amps on the 008 should be about 4.2

I moved the Smokette to where I could plug it directly into the outside outlet. Not something I can do every time I want to smoke because I have an old back.

Amps: 4.12 to 4.15 and this drops to 0.03 as it cycles off. Volts: 121.5 to 122.7.

I moved it back to the cooking station, plugged it back into the extension cord, measured it again and received the exact same readings. I'd still plug it directly into the outlet if I could, but at least this made me feel better about using the extension cord.

Just my experience. I'm not an engineer, so someone tell me if I'm missing something here.

Incidentally, if you're in the same position as me and have to use an extension cord and want to check the amps and volts on your Cookshack, these monitors are about $22.00 at Amazon right now. They're also pretty handy for checking all of your other household appliances.
According to my information from Cookshack, the amps on the 008 should be about 4.2

Pat, the Smokette has a 500 watt heating element and it's running on 120 volts. Divide the wattage (500) by the voltage (120) and you get an amperage of 4.166666666. That's almost 4.2 amps and that's where the Cookshack tech got the number.

You also ask if you've missed something. The answer is NO. This question about extension cords comes up on a regular basis and IMHO it's blown a little bit out of proportion. Some years ago when I got my Smokette I'd heard the controversy over extension cords so I did a little calculating and found that a 25 foot 12 gage cord would cause a .33 voltage drop. That's negligible. I bought an el-cheapo 25ft. by 12 ga. cord from Harbor Freight, plugged it in to the smokette and the little bugger has performed admirably ever since. From then on I quit thinking about extension cords and went on to more important stuff like learning to cook on it. Sometimes we all have a tendency to try to over think stuff. I got over that on my old log cooker. When I got the CS I vowed to just use and enjoy it and have done just that. The cooker has rewarded me with some pretty darned good results.
I'm wondering if it's MacDonald's coffee syndrome. Protect the moron public from themselves. An extension cord will lower the voltage, per the website, well a long crappy one will. Then again the average person may well hook their smoker up to a long crappy cord, cause it's what was in the garage for the past 15 years. The mower never worked right wiv dat either.
The reason it's on the website, is that after 40+ years, they've found many a user was using the wrong cord. It's that simple.

So when we try to figure out why something isn't working, we try to cover all the bases. In 10 years of the forum, it's happened more than once that someone was using a faulty / inappropriate cord.

Easy, just use the right kind and you'll be fine.
Being cautious is always a good idea, especially when, as dogster suggested, the "McDonalds Coffee" syndrome is always with us. I do think, however there might be a better solution than making a blanket statement about extension cord usage.

Surely the good folks at Cookshack have some idea of how much voltage loss each product can handle before there's a serious degradation of performance. To that end, I've created a voltage drop table for the 08 based on wire lengths of 25 to 100 feet in 25 foot increments and wire gages from 12 to 18. Here's what it looks like.

If the folks at CS could publish the magic number for each product, then just enter the table for that particular product, go to the intersection of Wire Gage versus Length and find the voltage drop under those conditions. If the drop is over the Cookshack recommended, don't use that size and or length.

I would be most happy to provide similar tables for the 09, 50, 55 and any other model for which the target drops were specified by the factory. The calculations for this table took about 5 minutes. The graphics took a little longer.

PS. Actually, the 08 and 09 would be on the same table and the 50 and 55 would be on another.
Last edited by taktez
Call CS, but my take is that's harder to figure out than just have people us appropriate gauge. Then if you're trying to trouble shoot, it adds more variables. The average use should just plug it direct, no cord (average user)

Remember, most users don't read the manuals and NEVER search the forum.

As CS doesn't monitor the forum, it might be something they want to add to future manuals.


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