Commercial-Style Kitchens on High
Now you can have America’s-next-top-chef pro-style quality at home
(Above) Cara and Jared kitchen renovation
When commercial appliances first appeared on the home kitchen scene some 20 years ago, they were the couture of cooking: beautiful, very expensive, and available only to a select few who could manage the price tag and installation. With the renaissance of home entertaining and the widespread popularity of cooking shows, manufacturers have answered the homeowners’ call for a commercial style that can easily fit into a new or renovated kitchen. Looks still lead the way, with shimmering stainless steel and sturdy controls. Function has kept up, too, thanks to improvements in cooking, cooling, and cleaning, to justify that price tag.
Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection—for free.
Commercial Kitchen Ranges
It’s much easier these days to purchase a commercial-style kitchen range for a home. You’ll find ranges that provide the function you seek, at a size and scale that fits into a home kitchen. Serious at-home chefs covet range features like cast-iron grates, stainless-steel surfaces, and quick-to-heat burners controlled by sizeable knobs. The controls with the DCS collection from Fisher & Paykel are illuminated, a safety feature that adds an extra touch of glamour.
Another benefit of commercial-style kitchen ranges: they offer flexibility, which home cooks need. One such example is dual fuel, or ranges that feature a gas cooktop plus an electric oven. This provides the immediacy and control of a gas cooktop, with cooking power of up to 25,000 BTUs, and the precise performance of a true convection oven. Modern ranges also have digital panels that help you program correct temperature and cooking times to assure perfect results.
Before purchasing a commercial-style range, there are a few drawbacks you should consider. Some commercial-style kitchen range models have smaller oven cavities than their non-pro-style counterparts, so check the size to make it can handle your Thanksgiving turkey. The self-cleaning feature may also need to be sacrificed if that’s not important to you. Luckily, you’ll make it up in adjustable grates, cooktop grills, and superior simmering capabilities with flames that go as low as 140 degrees. Some brands have unique features. Thermador’s burners, in the shape of the company’s star emblem, disperse the flame heat to more evenly heat the entire surface of a pot. Fisher & Paykel’s racking system allows the rack to extend as much as 75 percent outside the oven cavity, handy when removing a heavy dish, like a roast or a Dutch oven.
Commercial Kitchen Refrigerators
The first commercial kitchen refrigerators to capture the imagination came with glass doors. It’s ideal for a professional kitchen, as many chefs working together simultaneously need to see what’s inside quickly and easily. For the home cook, True Refrigeration offers a stainless-framed glass door option reminiscent of that commercial version.
Another key feature of a commercial kitchen fridge is stainless steel. As an external material, it lends a pro-style touch. Also, some manufacturers, like True, offer stainless steel as an interior finish, too. Newer fridge models have black stainless steel for an extra touch of drama. Considering color? BlueStar claims to have more than 750 colors and finish combos to match its cooking products.
Features inside the fridge
What’s going on behind cool-looking doors is just as important to the home chef, who may shop once a week and needs all that food to stay fresh. Look for features like individual climate-controlled drawers, adjustable racking systems, and extra-large shelves to hold entertainment platters and pizzas. Appliances Connection has introduced removable bins on the fridge door that can be loaded with ingredients for meals during the week, then removed to the kitchen counter when it’s time to prep dinner.
Real commercial dishwashers, perhaps surprisingly, lack all the features that homeowners have come to depend on. They basically serve to wash and sanitize, so you won’t find them with adjustable racking systems or garbage disposals. In fact, with a true pro version, you would have to thoroughly rinse the glasses and dishes before placing them in the washer.
If you’re set on a commercial-style, dishwasher, start with stainless steel. This sparkling metal says the appliance means business, just like its cooking and cooling counterparts described above. Hefty, architectural handles complete the pro-style effect (unless you prefer a look with controls hidden on the inside panel.) Inside, look for adaptable features like adjustable or removable racks and baskets. As for function, there’s plenty from popular manufacturers to make you happy, including a range of wash cycles, a timer, super-quiet operation, and a childproof lock. Want all the bells and whistles? Spring for a third rack from manufacturers like Bosch, or a built-in water softener from Jenn-Air.
Commercial-Style Kitchen Faucets
The introduction of the pull-out faucet two decades ago forever changed our impression of this indispensable kitchen tool. Finally, with minimum effort (and splashing), you could spray the entire sink—as well as the inside of a pasta pot. Commercial-style kitchen faucets take this advantage a step further. Many offer single-handle operation, a higher-than-average arc, and a spray that can swivel 360 degrees. Look to plumbing experts like Isenberg, Appliances Connection, and Grohe for more handy options. There are even options for foot control, for completely hands-free operation, like the pros enjoy. If you love sparkling water, Grohe also makes a pro-style faucet that puts fizz in your tap water when you want it.
Peek inside a commercial kitchen and you’re likely to see stainless steel on the counter surfaces. The sanitary, odor- and moisture-impervious benefits are obvious. However, dings and scratches become pretty obvious. If the patina of usage isn’t for you, check out natural or engineered stone. Professional chefs love it for the same reasons homeowners do: it can take heat without scorching, yet stays cool to the touch. Natural stones such as granite and marble will, nevertheless, show stains, so if you don’t want to risk marring the perfect surface, consider an engineered stone like Dekton or Caesarstone, which claim to resist all liquids, including wine and juice.
Creating a commercial-style kitchen at home
Planning a kitchen renovation involves loads of decisions as you work your way through all the choices for appliances and materials. Commercial style kitchens, while at the higher end of the budget spectrum, remains a classic, and a trend with staying power, if you take the time to find those products that sync with your individual cooking style. Looking for professional help to get your kitchen there? Post your project and get matched with Sweeten contractors today, for free.
Create a seamless, stylish cook space with integrated kitchen design.
Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.