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Tip: Household items work fine for pitting cherries

June 27th, 2008 · 7 Comments · Cooking tips, Tools

There’s more than one way to pit a cherry, and here are five.

For sour (pie) cherries

These beauties are small, which means you need more of them, so easy pitting is definitely desirable. Try these methods.

  • Your fingers. If the cherries are very ripe, just squeeze the stem end, and the pit will squirt out the blossom end.
  • A paper clip. Insert end of small paper clip into the stem end of cherry, and lift out the pit. Observe (and ignore a lack of focus in one shot):

Insert paper clip

Slip clip under pit Cherry pitted

  • A hairpin. Same deal as the paper clip.

For sweet cherries

These bigger fruits, which may hang on to their pits more than sour cherries, are well-suited to standard tools, and I recommend them.

  • Plunger-type pitter (at right). Set a cherry on the rounded dish opening, preferably stem-end up, and press down with the plunger.
  • Pincer-type pitter (below). Same deal. Set a cherry in the dish, and squeeze the two arms of the pitter to push the pit out. This type works better for me.

Other options

You can try these improvised tools, too:

  • Chopstick or skewer. I’ve had mixed results with these, but you can give them a try. They seem most useful with ripe sour cherries, when you combine a poke with a chopstick and a pinch with your fingers.
  • Soda straw. I haven’t tried this one, but I’ve heard about it, and it makes sense to me that it might work and, unlike the chopstick option, the opening in the straw might keep the pit from sliding away under pressure.

Your method

How do you pit cherries, if you pit cherries. Got any other tips to offer?


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