Granite countertops are well-known for their durability. It is almost impossible for them to chip or crack with normal use. They stay looking brilliant for decades too. But, what about their other properties? Are they capable of withstanding the intense heat of the kitchen? Do you have to protect them from the perils of your hot pots and pans through fear of the granite countertops burning if you don't?
We are going to answer all of those questions for you.
Granite countertops are heat resistant but heat can damage them if not properly handled. Long exposure to the sun can cause the countertop to feel rough when you rub your hand across the surface. The high heat from a pan can cause a crack in the countertop if the room is colder than normal.
Granite is known for being one of the most heat-resistant construction materials. It is the most heat-resistant material available for countertops.
Granite gets its heat-resistant properties from the way that it is formed. Thousands of years ago, your granite countertop would have been magma (molten rock). As this magma cools down, granite is born. As a result, granite is capable of dealing with unimaginable amounts of heat. There is not a single item in your kitchen that can produce enough heat to damage granite.
That being said, granite does absorb heat easily. While this won't likely damage the granite, it can make a countertop far too hot to touch for a long while after it has come into contact with something exceedingly hot e.g. a pan fresh off of the stove.
Granite countertops can easily deal with temperatures of 450F. While the granite can likely withstand temperatures of up to 1200F, it isn't really recommended that you push the surface too far. If the granite is regularly exposed to high temperatures, then it could result in the surface losing its texture and, in rare cases, the granite may start to pit.
Do bear in mind that we are only talking about the granite here. Granite countertops need to be sealed. The sealant will likely be able to handle less heat than the granite that it is protecting. The heat resistance of the sealant will be dependent on the product that is used.
Granite cannot burn. It doesn't matter how much heat is applied to the granite countertop, there won't be a single burn mark left behind.
If you do notice something that looks similar to burn marks on your granite countertops, this isn't actually a burn mark. It is likely a grease or oil stain.
Because granite is a very porous material, if it is not sealed correctly, it can start to absorb oil and grease from the bottom of your pan. Because the shape will closely resemble that of the base of your hot pans, it will almost look as if the granite countertop has burn marks on it.
While granite countertops are resistant to heat, it is not advised that you constantly expose your countertops to scalding hot pans.
Placing a hot pan onto the granite countertop ever so often probably won't pose that much of a problem. However, if you are doing it regularly, there is a chance that the sealant on the granite can start to break down. Once the sealant on the granite begins to break down, your countertop will become more prone to staining.
The one thing that you will have to remember is that granite doesn't deal with temperature fluctuations all that well. This means that you may have a problem if you place a hot pan directly onto a very cold countertop. If you do this, then the granite may crack, warp, or lose its texture.
Despite granite countertops being capable of dealing with a hot pan, it is still advised that you try to ensure the hot pan is left on the granite for as little time as possible. Ideally, you should also purchase heat-resistant mats that you can place your hot pans onto. This will help to reduce the need to reseal the granite countertops regularly.
Granite is more heat-resistant than quartz.
While granite is capable of dealing with up to 450F of heat, quartz can only withstand 150F. This is because the resins that bind the quartz together will begin to melt with the smallest amount of heat applied. Because of this, you should not be putting hot pans directly onto the granite worktop.
While granite countertops are heat-resistant, the sealant on the countertop won't fare as well. Therefore, you will want to ensure that you protect the granite surface from heat as much as possible. If you don't, the sealant can wear away, resulting in staining of the countertop.