Quartz countertops are durable and heat-resistant, making them a popular choice for kitchens. However, using extremely hot pots and pans directly on quartz can potentially damage the surface over time. Here is a comprehensive guide on whether you can put hot pots directly on quartz countertops.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, also known as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with polyresin and pigments. The result is a non-porous, stain-resistant material that is harder and more durable than natural stone.
Some key properties of quartz:
- Extremely hard and scratch-resistant surface
- Non-porous so does not require sealing
- Resists stains, acids and heat
- Available in wide range of colors and patterns
- Low maintenance
Compared to granite, quartz is less prone to damage from impacts and heat. But it still requires some care, especially when using cooking pots and pans.
Are Quartz Countertops Heat Resistant?
Quartz has a high heat tolerance and can withstand temperatures up to 212°F (100°C) without any issue. This makes it suitable for placing hot pans, kettles, pots and more momentarily on the surface.
However, quartz is not completely heatproof. Exposing it to extreme heat over 300°F (150°C) for any prolonged time can potentially cause damage. The binders and resins in quartz can lose their stability when subjected to very high temperatures.
This means caution should be taken when putting extremely hot cookware from the stove or oven directly on the counter. Using trivets or hot pads is recommended in these situations.
Best Practices for Using Hot Pots on Quartz
When using hot pots and pans on quartz countertops, follow these best practices:
- Use trivets or hot pads – Place trivets, silicone hot pads or other protection under cookware coming directly from the stove or oven. This helps dissipate concentrated heat.
- Give cookware time to cool – After cooking, allow pots/pans to cool for 5-10 minutes before setting them on quartz. This reduces intense heat exposure.
- Avoid high temperatures – Don’t expose quartz to temperatures above 300°F for any prolonged time. This can damage the solid surface over time.
- Clean spills quickly – Wipe any spills from hot cookware right away. Acids and oils can stain if left too long.
- Inspect for damage – Check for any cracks, discoloration or glossy spots, indicating potential damage from heat exposure.
- Use rear burners – When possible, use back stove burners for extra hot cookware instead of front burners near the counters.
What Kind of Damage Can Happen?
Exposing quartz countertops to extreme heat can cause various types of damage:
- Discoloration – Dark or light spots from scorching.
- Bubbling – Bubbles or blisters in the resin around burn sites.
- Cracks/crazing – Surface cracks from thermal shock.
- Loss of shine – Sections losing polish and becoming matte.
- Warping – Heat-induced warping or sagging.
In most cases, the damage is only cosmetic. But extensive exposure to heat can compromise the structural integrity of the countertop over time. Cracks and loss of shine are common indicators of heat damage on quartz.
Tips to Prevent Heat Damage
- Never place flaming dishes or food directly on quartz.
- Use a trivet or hot pad when setting down pots from the oven or stove.
- Don’t leave teapots, crockpots or other hot appliances running for hours.
- Allow cookware to cool briefly first before setting on countertops.
- Clean up any spills, oils or foods that can get hot immediately.
- Have any signs of damage repaired quickly to prevent further issues.
- Consider adding a heat-resistant silicone mat for extra protection when cooking.
Is it Safe to Cook Hot Food on Quartz?
It’s generally safe to cook foods directly on quartz countertops up to a point. Many people bake pizza, cookies, heat soup, and more right on their quartz surface with no problems.
The key things to keep in mind are:
- Monitor temperatures – Don’t allow food to burn or scorch the surface.
- Use a trivet for hot cookware – Especially coming straight from the oven.
- Clean up spills promptly – Don’t allow hot oils, tomato sauce etc. to sit.
- Avoid excessive heat – Don’t try to cook at very high temperatures on quartz.
- Have it repolished periodically – To maintain the protective finish.
For everyday cooking at reasonable temperatures, quartz should withstand the heat. But it’s not indestructible, so smart practices still apply when cooking on quartz counters.
Can You Put a Hot Pan on Quartz After Cooking?
It’s best to allow pans to cool for 5-10 minutes after cooking before directly placing them on quartz. The initial contact from a piping hot pan can create localized thermal shock in the stone.
However, briefly setting a hot pan on quartz just after cooking should not normally cause any damage. The key is to not leave a very hot pan sitting for an extended time. Allow it to cool down to warm and then remove from the counter.
Using a trivet is an extra precaution to dissipate heat and minimize direct contact. And be sure to wipe any oils or food drips from the hot pan so it does not bake onto the counter.
What About Using Quartz Near the Stove?
Quartz is commonly used for countertops next to stoves and ovens since it can withstand normal cooking heat. However, extra care should be taken in these high heat zones:
- Use rear burners when possible
- Allow cookware to cool before setting down
- Keep staining oils and foods cleaned up
- Use trivets for hot pots and pans
- Inspect for any signs of damage
Monitor temperatures of cookware placed on the counters, especially for prolonged periods. And have quartz near ovens re-polished periodically to maintain heat resistance.
How to Prevent Hot Cookware From Damaging Quartz
Here are some top tips to prevent hot pots and pans from damaging your quartz countertops:
- Use trivets – Trivets or hot pads are essential for hot cookware. Look for silicone pads that allow heat to dissipate.
- Add a heat mat – Place a heat-proof silicone mat over high-use areas for extra protection.
- Cool first, then place – Allow cookware to cool for several minutes before setting directly on quartz.
- Keep it clean – Promptly wipe any spills, grease or food that can heat up and cause damage.
- Monitor heat – Be aware of excessive heat from appliances that may affect the surface.
- Avoid burns – Don’t allow anything flaming hot to make direct contact with the quartz.
- Have it resealed – Periodically have quartz re-polished and re-sealed to maintain heat protection.
Can you put a hot skillet on quartz?
It’s best to allow skillets to cool for 5-10 minutes first. Placing a very hot skillet directly from the stove can potentially damage quartz over time. Use trivets or silicone pads for added protection.
What happens if you leave a hot pan on quartz?
Leaving a hot pan for an extended time allows heat to build up, which can discolor, blister or crack quartz. Allow pans to cool before leaving on the counter for longer periods.
Can quartz counters withstand heat?
Quartz has good heat tolerance but can be damaged by extreme temperatures above 300°F. Reasonable cooking heat is fine, but hot pans from ovens or high-heat cooking should be used with trivets.
Can you crack a quartz countertop with heat?
Excessive or prolonged heat exposure can cause cracks in quartz. Sudden contact with an extremely hot object can also potentially crack the surface due to rapid temperature change.
Is it okay to cook on a quartz countertop?
It is generally fine to cook foods directly on quartz counters occasionally as long as temperatures are monitored and reasonable. Use trivets for hot pots/pans. Avoid cooking at very high heat on quartz frequently.
Quartz countertops are durable and handle typical cooking heat well. But care should be taken when using extremely hot pots and pans fresh from the stove or oven. Allowing cookware to cool briefly first and using trivets or pads can help prevent potential damage to your beautiful quartz surface over time. With some simple precautions, quartz countertops can stand up to everyday cooking activities in the kitchen.