All About Commercial-Style Appliances

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers™

When the kitchen is the heart of the home, it’s no wonder homeowners put so much time into outfitting it to perfection. Recently, more people have shown interest in commercial-style appliances, a special category that brings professional design and functionality to the residential market. If you like the look of heavy-duty appliances and enjoy cooking up a storm, read on to learn more!

KitchenAid 48-Inch Built-in Side by Side Refrigerator with PrintShield Finish

With 29.5 cubic feet of space, this 48-Inch Built-in Side by Side Refrigerator with PrintShield™ Finish from KitchenAid® has tons of room for fresh and frozen foods, and it even resists smudges! The professionally inspired design features textured steel handles and a produce preserver drawer.

Size, Shape, & Style

You can identify a commercial-style appliance on first glance. They’re built heftily—think steel all the way down to the handles and knobs—to withstand the level of use a professional kitchen demands. Plain stainless steel finishes feature very prominently because they clean up well and provide a nice sanitary feel. Utilitarian looks mean these appliances fit very well in luxury contemporary homes, but so long as you take your other kitchen finishes into account, they can suit practically any style. You just don’t want them to overpower the space and make the kitchen seem unbalanced.

Commercial-style appliances are often wider across than typical residential models, so make sure to settle on what you want before you do anything with your kitchen. In most cases, your builder will have to adjust the cabinetry and countertops to accommodate a larger fridge or range. Take the time to explore the options—you’ll probably be surprised by the variety of sizes out there, and what each step up has to offer.

JennAir Pro-Style 48" Professional Wall-Mount Hood

The Pro-Style® 48” Professional Wall-Mount Hood from JennAir® has a powerful 1,200 CFM blower and large diameter venting to pull air outside quickly, four fan speeds to match your needs, and even food warming lamps and adjustable task lighting.

Professional Qualities

You’ll find professional-level functionality in cooking appliances most often. High-powered gas burners, whether on ranges or cooktops, give the precise control and speed that chefs and line cooks need. The larger sizes also give you more to work with—more burners and/or double ovens to help you tackle more tasks at once. Of course, if you opt for this kind of cooking power, you need a venting system to match. Commercial-style hoods offer significantly stronger exhausting capacity (300 CFM for a standard residential hood vs. up to and over 1000 CFM in commercial models) to clear the air of all the steam, smoke, and odors that stronger cooking appliances produce.

Commercial refrigerators are much louder than people want in their homes and actually offer a lot less in terms of features, so commercial-style refrigerators for residential use usually look the part with their breadth and built-in construction. Inside, they have all the drawers and adjustable shelving you’re familiar with. One thing you won’t find is a commercial-style dishwasher—professional kitchens use massive tray and conveyor belt systems to keep up—so just find a model that fits your design scheme. If you think you’ll regularly produce more than a load’s worth of dishes at a time, you can always get two dishwashers; homes with large kitchens often have main and prep sinks, so it’s convenient to space out and rig up the dishwasher drains individually.

KitchenAid 48" Smart Commercial-Style Gas Range with Griddle

The KitchenAid® 48” Smart Commercial-Style Gas Range with Griddle comes in 9 finishes and features 6 burners and 2 ovens to tackle multiple tasks at once. Like the look but need something smaller? Check out their other commercial-style ranges.

Customization Options

Professionals have preferences, just like anybody else! That’s why commercial-style ranges and cooktops give you more to think about. Many of the larger models offer more than burners—they can come with a smooth griddle or two, and/or have a grilling area with cast iron grates. Ovens might have extra settings to perfectly proof bread, cook a variety of recipes in the best way, or hold dishes at serving temperature while you wrap up the rest of the meal. You never know what functionality you’ll find within these hard-working models!

We said before that most commercial-style appliances are stainless steel and utilitarian in design. While that’s true, increased interest in these models has opened the door to a wider range of style possibilities. Along with the standard renditions, appliance designers have come up with exceptionally sleek and more traditionally inspired versions to offer homeowners style choices that the professionals haven’t needed before. Our kitchens aren’t really back of the house, after all! If you’d like to add a pop of color to your space, go right ahead. As the market continues to expand to meet consumer demand, you’ll see more options become available!

If you’re looking for beautiful and functional commercial-style appliances to complete your kitchen, take a look at KitchenAid® and JennAir®. Both brands have impressive ranges to fit any space—even standard 30” widths!—as well as cooktops, hoods, wall ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, and dishwashers to complete your own perfect suite. Just imagine the dream kitchen you could put together!

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