‘Commercial’ in Cooking Appliances? A Beginner’s Guide

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  May 30, 2022

Always the latest smoking tips & tricks?

Subscribe to THE ESSENTIAL newsletter for aspiring pitmasters

We'll only use your email address for our newsletter and respect your privacy

I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Commercial means business, and cooking appliances are no exception. Commercial cooking appliances are designed to handle high output food preparation and delivery, built to certain standards and equipped with necessary tools like fryers, ovens, and grills.

In this article, I’ll explore what it means to be commercial and how it affects the appliances we use every day.

What is commercial in cookware

What Makes a Commercial Kitchen Unique?

A commercial kitchen is designed and equipped to handle large-scale food preparation and production. It is built to a certain standard and type, required to handle the needs of a restaurant or food service. Typically, a commercial kitchen is fully equipped with the necessary tools and appliances to prepare and store food. The kitchen is also designed to ensure safety and efficiency in the preparation and delivery of food. Some of the features that a commercial kitchen may include are:

  • Multiple cooking units
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Dishwashing area
  • Prep area
  • Delivery area
  • Ability to handle a high output of food
  • Consistent and maintainable design

Size and Location

The size and location of a commercial kitchen depend on the nature of the business. A typical commercial kitchen is fairly large, with enough space to accommodate the needs of the business. It is located in an area that is easily accessible to customers and delivery services. The kitchen is usually attached to the main property, and there is an agreement in place to control the usage of the kitchen.

Types of Commercial Kitchens

There are different types of commercial kitchens, depending on the needs of the business. Some of the most common types include:

  • Restaurant kitchens
  • Catering kitchens
  • Food truck kitchens
  • Bakery kitchens
  • Hotel kitchens

Each type of commercial kitchen has its own unique needs and requirements. For example, a bakery kitchen will require different equipment and methods than a restaurant kitchen.

Output and Stock

A commercial kitchen is designed to handle a high output of food. This means that the kitchen must be able to prepare and cook food faster than a typical household kitchen. The kitchen must also have the ability to choose the perfect method for preparing each dish. Additionally, a commercial kitchen must have enough stock to meet the needs of the business. This means that the kitchen must have a large number of units of each ingredient on hand at all times.

Usage and Customers

A commercial kitchen is used to prepare food that is sold and eaten by people. The kitchen is responsible for making sure that the food is prepared in a safe and consistent manner. The kitchen must also be familiar with the needs and preferences of its customers. For example, a restaurant kitchen must be able to prepare dishes that are fine-tuned to the tastes of its customers.

Maintaining a Commercial Kitchen

Maintaining a commercial kitchen is a matter of following certain standards and guidelines. The kitchen must be kept clean and free of any potential hazards. The kitchen must also be inspected regularly to ensure that it is in compliance with all safety regulations. Additionally, the kitchen must be able to maintain consistent output and quality, even during busy times of the day or dinner rush.

Equipping Your Commercial Kitchen: Understanding the Different Equipment Needed

When it comes to commercial kitchen equipment, size matters. The size of your kitchen will determine the type and size of equipment you need. Before you buy any equipment, measure your kitchen space to ensure that the machinery you buy will fit. Keep in mind that larger equipment may require plumbing and electrical outlets, so make sure you have adequate outlets and plumbing before you buy.

Specific Equipment for Specific Meals

Different types of meals require different types of equipment. For example, if you’re thinking of serving pizza, you’ll need a pizza oven. If you’re thinking of serving coffee, you’ll need a coffee machine. If you’re thinking of serving sandwiches, you’ll need a sandwich toaster. It’s important to consider the type of meals you’ll be cooking when deciding what equipment you need.

Cooking Equipment

Commercial cooking equipment is specifically designed to handle the extreme wear and tear of a high-volume restaurant or catering business. This equipment has specific features that are generally not used or not needed in regular household appliances. Some of the most commonly found cooking equipment in commercial kitchens include:

  • Frying vats
  • Grills
  • Ovens
  • Microwaves
  • Steamers
  • Hold and serve equipment

Refrigeration Equipment

Commercial refrigeration equipment is designed to keep large quantities of food at safe temperatures. Depending on the size of your kitchen and the type of food you’ll be serving, you may need:

  • Fridges
  • Freezers
  • Walk-in coolers
  • Walk-in freezers

Ventilation and Air Conditioning Equipment

Commercial kitchens need adequate ventilation and air conditioning to ensure the safety of staff and customers. Fans, extractors, and air conditioning units are all necessary to keep the air in your kitchen clean and safe. Fire safety is also a concern, so make sure you have adequate fire safety equipment installed.

Portable Equipment

If you’re catering an event or need to move your equipment around, portable equipment is a must. Portable grills, fryers, and refrigeration units can all be moved to different locations as needed.

Niche Equipment

Depending on the type of food you’ll be serving, you may need niche equipment. For example, if you’re serving bread, you’ll need a bread oven. If you’re serving large quantities of coffee, you may need a coffee urn. It’s important to consider all the equipment you’ll need to cook and serve your menu.

Commercial vs Household Appliances: What You Need to Know

When it comes to kitchen appliances, there are two main types: commercial and household. While they may look similar, there are some key differences that you need to be aware of before making a purchase.

Construction and Materials

One of the biggest differences between commercial and household appliances is their construction and materials. Commercial appliances are generally made of more durable materials, such as stainless steel, to withstand the wear and tear of constant use. They are also often larger and more complicated in their design, requiring more attention when handling.

Safety and Compliance

Another important factor to consider is safety and compliance. Commercial appliances are required by the government to meet certain safety standards and must be tested and certified for compliance. Household appliances, on the other hand, are not subject to the same level of scrutiny.

Suitable for Different Needs

Commercial appliances are designed for use in larger enterprises, such as restaurants and dining places, where they need to be fully equipped to handle a high volume of food preparation. Household appliances, on the other hand, are suitable for families and domestic projects and are generally easier to use and handle.

Price and Quality

When it comes to purchasing appliances, price and quality are always important factors to consider. Commercial appliances tend to be more expensive than household appliances due to their larger size, more durable materials, and professional-grade compressor and refrigeration systems. However, they also tend to be of higher quality and can last for a long time with proper care and maintenance.

Buying Commercial Appliances

If you’re looking to buy a commercial appliance, there are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Do your research: Make sure you fully understand the type of appliance you need and what features you require.
  • Ask for help: Don’t be afraid to ask the makers or sellers for advice and recommendations.
  • Check the standard: Make sure the appliance meets the necessary safety and compliance standards.
  • Be sure of the form: Ensure that the appliance is suitable for your specific needs and requirements.
  • Add up the price: Consider the overall cost of the appliance, including installation and maintenance.

Choosing the Right Commercial Kitchen Appliances for Your Restaurant

Before buying any commercial kitchen appliances, it is essential to evaluate your needs and research the available options. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Consider the type of food you will be serving and the equipment needed to prepare it.
  • Assess the space you have available and determine the ideal size and layout of the appliances.
  • Think about the additional features you may need, such as surfaces that are easy to clean or workspace that is well-stocked and sanitary.
  • Ask industry experts, such as suppliers or other restaurant owners, for advice on suitable equipment and reputable brands.

Compare Prices and Reputations

When considering different commercial kitchen appliances, it is essential to compare prices and reputations. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Costlier products may be a more significant investment initially, but they can be more beneficial in the long run by providing consistency and helping to avoid repairs.
  • Rank appliances based on quality, price, and features to help make a more informed decision.
  • Consider the relationship you have with your supplier and the assistance they can provide with repairs and maintenance.
  • Look for attractive financing options from retailers or suppliers to help with the cost of the investment.

Choose the Right Grade of Equipment

Commercial kitchen appliances come in different grades, and it is essential to choose the right one for your restaurant. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Standard grade equipment is suitable for small restaurants or those just starting.
  • Professional grade equipment is more durable and suitable for larger restaurants or those with high-volume needs.
  • Commercial grade equipment is the most durable and suitable for restaurants with a high volume of customers.

Gas or Electric?

Commercial kitchen appliances can be run using electricity or gas connections. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Gas appliances are more cost-efficient in the long run, but they require proper ventilation and installation.
  • Electric appliances are easier to install and run, but they may be more expensive to operate over time.

Properly Maintain Your Appliances

Once you have purchased your commercial kitchen appliances, it is essential to properly maintain them to ensure they last long and work correctly. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Regularly clean and sanitize all surfaces and equipment to ensure a sanitary workspace.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use and maintenance.
  • Have a plan in place for repairs and maintenance to avoid downtime and lost revenue.

In conclusion, buying commercial kitchen appliances is a hard decision, but with proper research and evaluation, you can find the ideal equipment for your restaurant. Comparing prices and reputations, choosing the right grade of equipment, and properly maintaining your appliances can help ensure consistency and quality in your food and work.


So, that’s what it means to be commercial. It’s not just for large businesses, but it’s a way of doing things that’s better suited for the needs of the many. 

It’s important to remember that not all commercial appliances are suitable for home use, and the other way around. So, if you’re looking for a new appliance, just ask the seller or a professional for advice.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.