Cooking for a grand party can be quite overwhelming. There are dishes everywhere, the to-do lists are long, and there is certainly no time to bring out the chopping board every time you need to chop something. As a last resort, most people just wish they could cut food directly on the countertop.
However, we do have a few reservations about that idea.
Can You Cut Food on Granite Countertops?
For most people, granite countertops in their kitchen seem to be the perfect solution. The granite is easy to install, provides an aesthetic appeal, and is one of the most durable materials in the market.
Cutting food on your granite countertop means that the granite would come into direct contact with the knife. Since most granite countertops tend to have a sealer as the top-most layer, using a knife can wear down the sealant over time. As the granite sealant degrades, food and liquids can sink into your granite countertop which causes staining or cracking.
If your granite does not have a sealant, then cutting food on the countertop might not be an issue. However, there is the risk of damaging your beloved knives. The granite is strong enough to endure a knife’s cuts without scratching, but the knife blades can become dull due to contact with granite.
Can You Scratch Granite with a Knife?
The simple answer to this question is no. Since granite is an incredibly hard stone, it is nearly impossible to scratch it with a steel knife. This means that if you are in a hurry to cut your lime, there is no harm in slicing it directly on the granite countertop. You should remember to clean the countertop ASAP to prevent any damage to your sealant or the discoloration of your granite.
The biggest reason why everyone suggests using cutting boards in your kitchen is not only to protect your countertop but to protect your knives. Be careful while slicing items such as tomatoes or lemons on the countertop since the acid is likely to degrade the sealant layer on your granite countertop.
Is It Safe to Cut Directly on Granite?
If you are worried about food safety, it is always good to use a cutting board. This will help prevent any acid or bacteria on your countertops, thus preventing the spread of bacteria to other food items in your kitchen.
Items such as raw meat should always be sliced using a separate, clean cutting board. While raw meat does not damage the granite countertop in any way, there is always the risk of transferring bacteria. For smaller things such as a lemon or an apple, using your granite countertop should not be a problem.
With that being said, there is no harm in cutting food directly on your granite countertop. There are no chemicals present in the stone or the sealant that are potentially harmful to you. However, you should keep in mind that if you continue chopping food on the granite countertop, the sealant might get damaged and require a replacement.
Common kitchen items that could damage your granite countertop include vinegar, soft drinks, harsh soaps and disinfectants, air fresheners, and acidic citrus fruits. If you accidentally spill something on your countertop, just be quick to clean the entire surface with soapy water and a piece of cloth. The longer you let the spill sit on your counter, the higher the chances of damaging your sealant and staining the granite.
Food Safety: Is Granite Toxic?
Speaking of food safety, many homeowners become concerned about whether or not their granite countertops are safe to use. While the natural stone is not safe for food preparation, granite countertops are carefully tested and treated to make them suitable for the kitchen. Since your granite countertop will inevitably come into contact with food, construction companies are incredibly careful in using only treated and tested granite for your kitchen remodeling project.
In simple words, this means that your granite countertops are 100% safe.
When you are cleaning your kitchen, remember to use granite-friendly disinfectants that do not damage the sealant on your countertop. If you do not want any discoloration in your kitchen, then it is best to use a cutting board for your chopping needs and clean the surface with soapy water and a cloth. You also should avoid placing hot pans on granite countertops as the heat may harm the sealant.
Does Cutting on Granite Dull Knives?
Cutting food directly on your countertop is unlikely to damage your granite but can cause your knives to become dull very fast. Typically, knives can last for months before becoming dull, depending on how often you use them. Contrary to popular belief, your knives need some maintenance as well.
If you use your knives on a wooden chopping board, then the dulling process is quite slow. Because here the knife is harder than the chopping board.
However, when knives come into contact with strong stones, they can quickly become dull. This is because the minerals in your granite countertop are stronger than the metal on the knife, which means that constant contact will ruin the blades and sharp edges of your knife.
Although there is no harm in occasionally cutting on granite with your knives, it is not recommended for everyday use. The best way to keep your knives sharp is to use an end-grain wooden chopping board on top of your granite countertops.
Although it does sound easier to just chop some vegetables and meat directly on the countertop, it is not a great idea to do so. Some fruits and vegetables will wear down the sealant on your granite rapidly, thus leading to stains and discoloration on your countertop – which is something that no one wants.
For the next time that you are on a cooking spree in your kitchen, it is important to have a few handy chopping boards that can assist you through the process. Not only is it easier to chop food on a wooden surface, but it also keeps your beloved granite countertops safe and your kitchen looking neat.