Why Not Use Cord on Electric Smoker

If you have an electric smoker, it’s important to use the right power supply to avoid potential hazards. One common mistake is using an extension cord or power cord that isn’t designed to handle the high current draw of the smoker’s heating element.

In this article, we’ll explain why you should avoid using cords on your electric smoker, and provide some tips for safe and efficient operation. Whether you’re new to electric smokers or a seasoned pro, this information is essential for getting the most out of your smoker without putting yourself or your property at risk.

Why Not Use Cord on Electric Smoker

Why Not To Use A Cord On An Electric Smoker

Using an extension cord on an electric smoker seems like a convenient solution for those who need more flexibility in where they can place their smoker. However, this approach is not recommended by electric smoker manufacturers and electricians.

There are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t use a cord on an electric smoker, which we will discuss in the following sections.

1. Overheating

Electric smokers are an efficient way to enjoy delicious and perfectly smoked meats. However, if not used correctly, they can pose a risk of overheating, which can lead to fire hazards and damage to the smoker. To prevent these consequences, it’s crucial to understand the risks of overheating and how to avoid them.

One common cause of overheating is using an extension cord that is not rated for the smoker’s wattage, which can cause the heating element to draw too much current and lead to overheating. To prevent this, always use a heavy-duty extension cord with a gauge that matches the smoker’s wattage and model.

It’s also important to monitor the smoker’s temperature regularly and adjust the settings accordingly. If the smoker does not have a built-in temperature control device, consider adding one, such as a thermostatic power cord. This can help regulate the smoker’s temperature and prevent overheating.

Remember, it’s essential to never leave an electric smoker unattended, especially when using an extension cord. Additionally, never use a cord with visible damage, as it can pose serious fire hazards. As a rule of thumb, always keep an eye on your smoker and take precautions to prevent overheating.

2. Fire Hazard

Using an extension cord with an electric smoker poses a serious fire hazard due to the risk of overheating. When the extension cord is unable to handle the current draw necessary for the smoker’s heating element, it can cause the smoker to overheat and potentially catch fire.

This can lead to injury and property damage, making it crucial to take precautions and use the appropriate extension cord with a gauge that matches the smoker’s wattage and model. In addition, it’s important to monitor the smoker’s temperature regularly and never leave it unattended.

Failure to do so may result in a catastrophic fire. Therefore, always ensure that your electric smoker is connected correctly and safely to prevent the risk of a fire hazard.

3. Electrical Shock

When it comes to using extension cords with electric smokers, there are certain risks to consider, particularly the potential for electrical shock. Water and moisture are excellent conductors of electricity, meaning that using an extension cord with an electric smoker that is exposed to rain or snow can be incredibly dangerous.

To reduce the risk of electrical shock and ensure safe usage, there are several guidelines to follow when using an extension cord with an electric smoker. Firstly, it is essential to use a heavy-duty extension cord that is at least 14-gauge American Wire Gauge (AWG). This gauge of wire ensures that the cord can support the current draw of the heating element, preventing it from overheating.

Another rule of thumb for extension cords is to choose a cord that is 6 feet shorter than the farthest distance to the power outlet. This recommendation ensures that the cord is not stretched too far, which can lead to overheating and potential electrical shock.

It is important to note that users should always unplug the electric smoker and extension cord before cleaning it. Additionally, regular inspections of the extension cord and electric smoker for any signs of wear or damage are recommended to maintain safe usage.

4. Damage To The Smoker

An electric smoker is a convenient tool for cooking delicious BBQ dishes, but it is also susceptible to damage if not used properly. One of the potential ways a smoker can sustain damage is through overheating. If the smoker is used with an extension cord or power supply that exceeds its maximum current draw, the heating element can malfunction or even burn out. To prevent this, ensure that you use a heavy-duty extension cord that can support the current draw of the smoker.

Another important factor to consider is the placement of the smoker. Avoid placing the smoker in direct sunlight or near a heat source that could cause it to overheat. Overheating can also lead to the deformation of some parts of the smoker, reducing its functionality and lifespan.

Water damage is another issue that electric smokers can encounter. If the smoker is not properly shielded from rain or moisture, water can penetrate the internal components and cause severe damage. To prevent this, consider using a weatherproof cover when not in use or moving it indoors during inclement weather.

Finally, a buildup of ash or grease can damage the internal components of the smoker. To prevent this issue, it is essential to clean the smoker regularly. After each use, remove any residue and ash from the chip holder and the surrounding area of the smoker. You can use a damp cloth to clean the interior and exterior of the smoker, or a vacuum cleaner to remove any debris or ash from the smoker.

By following these tips, you can prevent damage to your electric smoker and ensure it lasts for years to come. Remember to use a suitable extension cord, avoid overheating, shield from water damage, and regularly clean the smoker to maintain safe usage.


In conclusion, using a cord on an electric smoker can be dangerous and even damaging to the appliance. It is important to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid using an extension cord or any kind of cording device for the power supply.

A heavy-duty extension cord can be used to power the smoker, but it must be the appropriate gauge and should be plugged directly into a dedicated electrical outlet. This will prevent any overheating or electrical issues that could result from using a cord.

Furthermore, using a cord can also limit the mobility of the smoker and may make it difficult to place it in the optimal location for smoking. Instead, consider using a retractable cord reel or relocating the smoker closer to a power outlet for convenience.

By following these guidelines and avoiding the use of a cord, electric smokers can operate safely and effectively. Remember, when it comes to powering your electric smoker, always err on the side of caution and follow proper safety protocols.