An Instant Pot is an electronically controlled pressure and slow cooker combination multicooker. Some of them also have air fryers. They are perfect for meal prepping or creating meals quickly, but your outlet placement can sometimes make things difficult. Can you use an extension cord with an Instant Pot to make things easier? Is an extension cord safe for an Instant Pot?
You can use a large gauge extension cord with an Instant Pot rated for the power that your Instant Pot draws. You can’t use a typical household extension cord because it could become a fire hazard due to the excess heat build-up in the extension cord from the power drawn by the Instant Pot.
Many Instant Pots have removable cords. If your model of Instant Pot has a removable cord, you can purchase a longer replacement cable. That will be much safer than running your Instant Pot through a standard household extension cable. A mismatched cable can overheat while using the Instant Pot and easily and quickly cause a fire.
Can You Use an Extension Cord with an Instant Pot?
The reason you aren’t able to use any extension cord has to do with the amount of power drawn by the Instant Pot. If you plug your Instant Pot into a smaller cord, the cord will heat up while you are using it. The smaller cord acts as a point of electrical resistance, generating heat. That heat will eventually melt the wire coating and cause anything in the area to ignite.
If you use an extension cord with an Instant Pot, then you need to be certain that you get a cable that is rated high enough for your Instant Pot. It is always safest in every instance to plug your Instant Pot directly into an outlet, but with a large wire gauge, you can mitigate the risks.
The risks on the low end are damage to your Instant Pot, extension cord, and equipment. The risks on the high end are damage to your kitchen or even a house fire. It can’t be stressed enough that you should plug your Instant Pot into an outlet if possible and avoid using an extension cord. If you have to use an extension cord, purchase one large enough.
If you’ve plugged in your Instant Pot and receive an alert saying “off,” there are other things to do– the first being to make sure it’s plugged into an outlet.
What Gauge Cable is the Right Gauge Cable?
This question can only be answered if you are certain of the power ratings of your specific model of Instant Pot. It is best to look for the information on the back of your Instant Pot. It will usually be listed as power and voltage. Your voltage will likely be 110/120v for the US and between 1000 and 1500 watts for the current models of Instant Pot.
It is important to look at the label on your Instant Pot and see the power ratings for your specific model.
The current models of Instant Pots range in wattage from 1000 to 1500 watts. At 120v, that is a range of 8.3 to 12.5 amps. You want to be certain that any extension cable you buy is capable of withstanding constantly working under those amperages.
Which Cable Should I Buy for Each Amperage?
The standard size Romex cable used in building homes is 12 gauge wire. Any extension cable larger than that and you are experiencing diminishing returns due to the wires in your walls. It is also important to recognize that the length of the extension cable factors in as well. The longer your cable is, the higher the gauge needs to be safe.
We will be looking at wire gauges 16 to 10. In the Us, the smaller the number is, the larger the wire is. So, a 16 gauge wire is considerably smaller and capable of handling less power than a 10 gauge wire. The longer a cable is, the larger it will need to be for your usage. A 10 gauge cable can withstand 20 amps at 50ft. But only 10 amps at 250 ft.
Also, cable gauges are often listed like this: 16/2 13A or 16/3 13A. The first number, 16, is the gauge of the wire. The second number after the slash immediately after the gauge number is the number of wires inside the cord. You want to get three wires, so there is a ground. The 13A in our example is the amp rating of the wire.
Here is a Chart that Will Help Find an Extension Cord Quickly:
When uncertain about which cable size to get, you should always err on the side of a larger gauge cable than you think you need to avoid any possible problems. If you use a 1500-watt Instant Pot that draws 12.5 amps, 13 amps will cover it, but 15 amps would give you more wiggle room to be 100% certain of safety.
Buy A Replacement Cable
If you are lucky enough to have one of the models with a removable power cable, you are in luck! Most Instant Pot models use a standard PC NEMA 5-15P power cable. These can be found in various lengths on Amazon.
The great thing about using PC power cords over the Instant Pot brand cords is it is the same rating for the power cords but at a lower cost. You aren’t paying the premium for Instant Pot branded cable.
If possible, always plug your Instant Pot directly into a wall outlet. That will create the safest cooking situation. If you have to use an extension cord, be 100% certain that you have a cable rated to handle the power consumption and draw of your specific model of Instant Pot.