Many households are making the transition to gorgeous stone countertops, including granite and quartz. The investment is one that you are bound to enjoy for many years, because natural stone countertops add a touch of elegance to your kitchen. However, you might also believe that these countertops are much more durable than they truly are. Many people have heard that they can cut directly on granite countertops instead of using cutting boards or set hot pots and pans directly on the surface.
If you have been wondering if you can cut on a granite counter, then keep reading. We answer this question and more in this article, as well as provide advice on how to keep your new granite countertops from getting scratched and damaged.
Can I Cut On Granite Countertops?
The short answer to the question is yes. Granite and quartz are two exceptionally durable stones and are highly resistant to scratching and other damage. However, that doesn’t mean they are invincible. You should consider cutting on your stone countertops to only a certain extent.
Allow us to explain.
Should You Cut Directly on a Granite Countertop?
Now, whether you should or shouldn’t cut on a countertop made of granite is entirely separate from if you can. There are plenty of reasons why you should not cut directly on a natural stone counter. Nothing is resilient enough to undergo repeated blows and not come away damaged over time, not even granite.
Here are some reasons why you should never cut directly on a granite countertop:
Permeability of Minerals
The first—and arguably most important—thing is that granite has mineral content, and that makes it porous. Though granite is not as permeable as marble or engineered quartz countertops, it can soak up moisture. This means that preparing uncooked meats and seafood on your counter is never a smart decision.
The bacteria from raw chicken, for example, can soak into the microscopic holes in the granite surface and start to propagate. Not even surface cleaners will be able to rid your counter of bacteria completely, meaning any food prepared on the counter thereafter could get contaminated.
Always use a cutting board when preparing food.
Consider for a moment the Mohs mineral hardness scale. Though some stones are much harder than your knives, forks, and other sharp cooking utensils, there are a number of kitchen gadgets that might be tougher than granite. For example, a stainless steel kitchen knife is around six on the Mohs scale, while marble, one of the minerals responsible for veining in granite, is around four.
When you consider that your granite countertop might not be 100 percent granite, you realize that there are sections that could easily be damaged if you don’t use a cutting board. Nothing looks more unsightly than a scratched granite counter.
Experience chefs will tell you that you should never use your expensive knives and utensils with certain materials. For example, you do not want to use santoku knives on stone because they will lose their sharpness. In fact, granite will not smooth a blade down like a whetstone but take out chunks and ding the blade, making the knife far more difficult (and dangerous) to handle.
Preventing Damage To Granite Countertops
As answered above, you should make it a habit to use a cutting board instead of cutting directly on granite or other natural stone countertops. Yes, you can get away with a quick slice, such as when opening an orange or cutting bread, but meal preparation requires other utensils.
If you want to keep your granite countertops looking pristine and protect your health, consider the following tips:
- Always use cutting boards. Not only are they easier to clean than countertops, but they protect against bacterial contamination. Also, you won’t have to worry about your knives getting dulled and dinged.
- Clean up spills immediately. Any scratches in granite can open up a pathway into the stone that may stain if left alone. It only takes about 20 minutes for dark liquids, like grape juice or oils, to seep into the stone and leave a permanent mark.
- Use only specialized cleaners on your granite counters to protect the sealant that is on them. Some regular household cleaners can react with the sealant, causing damage to the surface and making it easier to abrade the stone.
If you ever wondered if you can cut on granite counters, you now have your answer: While it is okay to do it once in a while, you shouldn’t really cut objects directly on your granite countertops. Always use a cutting board when preparing meals and use the correct cleaning materials to keep the granite counter looking beautiful and priceless. Not only do you protect your investment, but you make the kitchen a safer, healthier place, too!
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