For serious home cooks — and culinary professionals, for that matter — the countertop material holds just as much weight in kitchen design as the floor plan and the choice of kitchen appliances. In today’s post, Granite Works discusses the best countertop materials for serious home cooks.
Qualities of a Cooking-Friendly Countertop Material
“Serious” home cooks, chefs and those who work in professional kitchens create more complex dishes than the average homeowner. On a kitchen countertop, they would be handling several pots and pans at once and will be using multiple tools. They will need a surface that can be used for kneading dough, for cleaning vegetables, and for preparing meat.
With the above considerations, a countertop needs the following qualities:
- Heat-resistant. The countertop needs to be able to withstand heat coming from various sources: from a nearby cooktop, a hot pot or pan being placed on it occasionally, and hot oil from a frying pan.
- Abrasion-resistant. Knives and other abrasive tools may scrape the surface every once in a while, which may result in noticeably marred surfaces. In some cases, the reverse is true — using kitchen tools on certain kinds of surfaces may result in blunted tools.
- Acid-resistant. The countertop will inevitably get splashed with acid from fruits like lemon and tomatoes, as well as vinegar and various other products.
- Easy to clean. Countertop surfaces can accumulate a lot of bacteria, particularly from raw food juices. The ideal surface should be non-porous, or should have as few pores or crevices as possible to prevent bacteria from accumulating. It should also be resistant to cleaning products. An easy-to-clean countertop is especially important if there are members of the household who may need their food handled separately, as in the case of vegan or halal food.
The Best Countertop Materials
The following materials meet the qualities described above:
- Granite. When properly sealed, granite is a durable countertop natural material that has exceptional resistance to heat, acids and abrasion. As a naturally-sourced material, granite has natural fissures that may require more than just wiping with a microfiber cloth to clean thoroughly, but otherwise they stand up well to daily wear.
- Stainless steel. Stainless steel checks all the boxes for professional-level countertops: they’re heat-resistant, acid-resistant, easy to clean, and you probably won’t mind if they end up with minute scratches. Their only tradeoff is they could give your kitchen a cold, industrial look.
- Glass. Glass countertops are typically made of tempered glass, which makes them more resistant to heat, impact and scratches. It is also stain-resistant, but may be prone to water spotting. If you must have a clear glass countertop, the substrate has to be aesthetically pleasing.
Find out more about what countertops are best for your kitchen. Call Granite Works at (301) 640-5010, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve Maryland and the surrounding communities.