How to Pit Cherries with or without a Cherry Pitter

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It takes a little work but learning how to pit cherries (with or without a pitter) is worth every bit of effort.

For fans of fresh, home-baked cherry pie, we’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is we’ve got a plethora of absolutely amazing fresh cherry recipes. The bad news is that you’ve got to pit all those cherries before you enjoy.

Not sure where to start when it comes to pitting your cherry harvest? Well, we’ve got a few techniques to get you started.

How to Pit Cherries with a Cherry Pitter

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The easiest way to pit cherries is with a cherry pitter. The classic cherry pitter grips an individual cherry while a small rod pierces the fruit and pushes the pit right out. It leaves your cherries intact and ready for baking. However, because this technique only allows you to pit one cherry at a time, it can be a bit tedious.

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But don’t you worry! Serious cherry fanatics can invest in a pitter that takes care of six cherries at once. That means the work of pitting that pound of fresh cherries is going to go so much faster. The device looks a bit like an egg slicer. Position the pitter over a bowl, set the cherries in the divots inside the pitter, then press down on the lever. The pits will drop down into the dish and you can keep pitting until you’ve got enough cherries for one of these grandma-approved cherry desserts.

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How to Pit Cherries Without a Pitter

If you’re a casual cherry eater, or just don’t want to shell out for a cherry pitter, there are a few household staples you can turn to. Here are some of the most common methods:

  • Chopstick or skewer: Use a chopstick to poke through cherries to remove the pit. If you’re working with a wooden skewer, be mindful of that sharp end!
  • Straw: Your standard plastic straw might not be up to the job due to the cherry’s firm flesh, but if you have reusable straws—metal or hard plastic—make use of them! Like you would with a strawberry, push the straw up through the bottom of the cherry through the top. You’ll get rid of the pit and stem.
  • Piping tip: Cake decorators, grab one of your longer piping tips. Just like with the straw or chopstick, push the tip through the cherry and the pit should pop right out.

Bear in mind that these tricks are best for pitting just a handful of cherries. They can be a bit messier and more time-consuming.

How to Use Pitted Cherries

Taste of Home

After washing and pitting your cherries, there are a ton of ways to put them to work. Pie is one of our favorite ways to use fresh cherries here at Taste of Home but cherries are delicious when made into sauces, jams and even savory recipes like this pork tenderloin with cherry salsa.

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.
Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly in The Huffington Post as well as a variety of other publications since 2008 on such topics as life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. She is also a writer of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.