January 2012 Archives

Kitchen Hacks

As mentioned in an earlier post about UPS loads, there are devices in the kitchen that can be better used with a hack or two. In my case, I find that the default settings of the (now) small George Foreman grill are entirely too high to cook something such as a half-inch thick steak. The result is that the center is rare (if barely defrosted) and the exterior is almost carbonized. Well, that's unacceptable.

Fortunately, I can deal with that. The George Foreman grill is rated for 760 watts. Since most dimmers are rated for around 600W, this is pretty close. The net result is that the dimmer may fail in a spectacular way. Basically:

Purchase:

1 short high-power appliance extension cord (14AWG or 12AWG)
1 dimmer
1 cover plate
1 metal outlet/switch box
2 Romex or other wire clamps

I assume that you have wire nuts on hand to tie the wires together.

Cut the extension cord in two.
Install the Romex clamps into the metal box.

Connect a (14AWG) ground wire to the box.

I use metal boxes. While they are not friendly to the counter top, they do provide a solid surface for grounding, and some protection, should the bit inside decide to explode.

Connect a ground wire (14AWG) to the dimmer.
Wire-nut the ground wires for the box, dimmer, input (plug) and output (outlet) of the extension cord.
Wire-nut the neutral (white) wires of the extension cord together.
Connect the black wire plug-side of the extension cord to the input side of the dimmer.
Connect the black wire outlet-side of the extension cord to the output side of the dimmer.

Install the dimmer into the box.
Check your wiring for shorts, etc.
Screw on the cover plate carefully so you don't crack it.

Cook. Just don't run more than 775W of load on the dimmer. The George Foreman grill, as tested, is a resistive device. I find that turning the grill down until the neon bulb is just barely lit (and if you turn it down lower, it will go out, but you can turn it back up to make the bulb come back on), you're at a good temperature for grilling some steak without burning and/or undercooking it.

Disclaimer: Don't follow any of these instructions under any circumstances for any purpose whatsoever. This information is presented for purely entertainment value only. None of this information has been checked for correctness or compliance with any electrical codes. Author is not a licensed engineer, electrician, chef, cook, or lawyer. Author is not responsible for any fires which may result from the use of this information, kitchen, electrical or otherwise. Author not responsible for illness as a result of eating undercooked food. Cook all food completely, preferably in an autoclave or medical grade incinerator.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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