Granite: A countertop that takes the heat

Published by: Elizabeth Gormley
Published on: 2010-01-10 15:26:13

    The beauty and luminescence of a granite countertop can only be matched by its functionality.  That is to say, granite can take the heat, so keep it in the kitchen.  After all, granite is a natural stone called igneous rock.  It is what forms from what was once spewed from the mouth of a volcano.  It takes millions of years of compression and heat beneath the surface of the earth.  The granite is mined, chiseled, prepped and polished, ready to be cut and installed for your kitchen pleasure.
    If you’re looking for the most culinary-friendly countertop, granite is the way to go.  The hardness factor is just about as high as you can get, so it’s more than likely you will dull your best knives and cleavers before you damage the counter.  That’s why it’s still best to use a cutting board, considering granite’s strength and hardness.  Granite comes from a high heat environment, and high heat it withstands.  You can place a hot pot on the counter without using a trivet or pad.  Granite won’t blister like synthetic, laminate, or even marble countertops.  Granite has a naturally cool surface, polished by professionals, making it ideal for rolling dough for pastries.  Many cooks recommend setting a bowl of ice water on the workspace for a spell, creating a chilled place for making a piecrust.  Tenderizing meat is also ideal on a flat, strong, and cool plane.
    Granite is naturally porous, which means that it will perform optimally as a cooking and prep place only after it is sealed.  Most professionals recommend applied granite sealant at least once a year.  It should be sealed straightaway after installation.  Sealing granite is easy, if you prefer to do-it-yourself.  The sealer can be purchased at your local hardware store.
    Strong as it is, sealed granite will always be somewhat vulnerable to certain materials and foods because of its porosity.  Unfortunately, it may still absorb cooking oil spills, grease, and acidic foods like pineapple, lemon, and salad dressing.  Hairspray can also leave a residue.  A dark stain, dullness, etching, or cloudy appearance, are all signs that your granite has been damaged by outside chemicals.  The good news is that there are remedies for specific stains, like fat, oil, acid, coffee, even color stains like ink or wine.  It’s always best when in doubt to contact the installer or manufacturer for cleaning advice.
    Granite is hands-down the best and most beautiful countertop option on the market, particularly for creating your culinary delights.  Resistant to stress, heat, and heavy objects, you will be pounding the cutlets and rolling out sheets of dough in style, on a true elegant and efficient stone palette.

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