Commercial & Residential Grills: Differences, Similarities & Features

6 minute read | Grills

The patio barbecue grills we sell and service here at the AEI Corporation come in two overarching types: residential and commercial. In most ways, these two types of grill are similar, so similar as to be interchangeable in many cases. However, for those with specific needs, a unique use environment, or highly developed grilling skills, there are a few differences that might be important.

Here, we will discuss and define those differences to help you make the best choice when outfitting your residential or commercial space with a new patio barbecue.

Commercial & Residential Grills: Similarities, Differences, and Distinctions

To understand the differences between a residential and commercial grill, it might help to define the settings in which they are used.

Grilling in a Residential Setting

A residential setting is the front or backyard of a single-family home. Here, AEI grills will be used by the homeowner, their families, and guests. In some cases, we might consider a rented home to be a residential setting. The renter could use a portable or free-standing grill or would need the permission of the property manager to install a permanent grill, but the use case and specific safety considerations would be largely the same as an ordinary residential setting.

Commercial Settings

A commercial setting is a patio or grilling area at one of the following location types:

  • Apartment complex
  • Condominium
  • Timeshares
  • Resort
  • Multi-Family Property

In a commercial setting, a built-in barbecue grill might be used by residents or their guests. For clarity, the property manager of a single-family rental home might choose to install an outdoor grill intending it to be used by the current and future residents. So we can see that there is a bit of a gray area there. 

Perhaps the most important distinction between a commercial and residential grill is that a residential grill will not be expected to be used by persons who do not own the grill without the direct supervision or permission of the owner of the grill. Another distinction is that commercial grills will tend to be larger with a larger serving capacity, though this does not necessarily need to be the case. Commercial grills also come with some additional grill accessories as standard. 

The Similarities

Power Source and Materials

Each type of grill comes in either propane or a natural gas-powered variant. Both are made using high-quality stainless steel and/or cast aluminum. In both types of grills, all of the critical working parts and components are made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel including the burners, grates, and other key components.

Mounting Options

Each type of grill can be mounted on a pedestal, grill cart, grilling island, or built into an outdoor cooking countertop. Propane-powered grills can be mounted into a portable stand since a portable propane grill uses self-contained fuel tanks. Pedestal grills are secure and take up very little floor space. 


Both private and commercial grills can be fitted with a wide range of grill accessories such as side burners, rotisserie burners, storage drawers, stainless steel side shelves, easy list handles, and 60-minute gas shut-off timers just to name a few of the available options. 

Size & Customer Service

Both types of grill come in a range of sizes. Propane and natural gas grills of the same size offer comparable power output profiles. Both types of grills come with attractive warranties to protect you against the unlikely event of mechanical problems. Best of all, both types of grills are compatible with a large collection of grill replacement parts that are available on the AEI website. 

The Differences Between Commercial & Residential Grills

The differences between these two types of grills for the two primary types of settings are small but significant if you need a grill that fits into one or the other role best. Grills for multi-family commercial properties will tend to be larger and can serve more people than those intended for single-family homes, although both have the largest and smallest sized grills available. 

Another important difference is that commercial grills come with a very popular safety feature, namely, the 60-minute shut-off timer. The advantage of this feature is clear. The grill will always shut off automatically any time it is left running unattended for 60 minutes. This is important for grills in commercial settings since it is difficult to monitor or control who uses and has access to the grill. It is also an important safeguard against the possibility of malicious mischief which can always be a problem in public settings. The shut-off timer is also great for commercial settings as it might help you to save money on insurance premiums in some cases. 

Another similar accessory that is sought after in multi-family settings is an emergency gas shut-off with timer. Not only can it turn off the gas after 60-minutes have passed, but it also allows you to stop the gas from certain hours daily (like at night), and it includes a big emergency off button that can be pressed to instantly shut off the supply of gas

With that in mind, commercial grills also come with theft-proof control knobs. This means that the knob which you twist to control the grill is not a separate, superficial cap-like item. It is directly connected to the mechanism that controls the grill and cannot be pulled off by hand. While this is a valuable protection against vandalism, it is also a nice protection against a common wear issue with most outdoor grills. With most grills on the market, it is common for control knobs to come loose and get lost. That is never a problem with AEI commercial grills. 

Finally, we carry three unique patio barbecue lines the A-Series, Legacy, and T-Series grills. A-Series and Legacy grills are intended for residential settings and T-Series are made for use in commercial residential settings. 

It is worth noting that you could benefit from the advantages of the 60-minute shut-off timer, theft-proof knobs, and larger grilling areas in a private residential setting by investing in an A-Series or Legacy. There is no reason why additional safety and capacity cannot be enjoyed in your own backyard. 

Either way, you will enjoy world-class grilling technology from the most powerful, reliable, and service-friendly gas grills on the market. That's because, like you, when it comes to grilling - PGS wants to be the best!

Want more information? Have a question? Contact us today, and we will be happy to help!

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