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 an absolutely amazing recipe for cherry pie (and other fresh cherry recipes!) that will make the process of pitting cherries feel totally worth it. The bad news is that the process is long and arduous.
But does pitting cherries really have to be such an arduous process? The good news is no! You can pit cherries the easy way with or without the fancy pitter. Here’s how.
How to pit cherries with a standard pitter
You may not want to hear this, but cherry pitters were invented for a reason. The standard cherry pitter grips the cherry, pokes the pit through swiftly, smoothly and easily, and has some sort of “splash guard” (because poking a pit through a cherry involves placing pressure on the fleshy, red orb, which will cause its juices to squirt all over). You can purchase one here for under $15, and it’s a worthy investment if you just can’t get enough of cherries. And who can with these amazing recipes?
Bottom line: This is the gadget you need if you’re serious about your cherry treats.
How to use a mason jar pitter
But the traditional pitter isn’t the only game in town. There’s now an attachment for a standard mason jar you can use. This contraption allows you to place the cherry in the designated spot and use the plunger to pit the cherry. The convenient part is that the mason jar collects all those pits in one spot so you don’t have to chase them across the kitchen floor.
Bottom line: It’s a bit more expensive, but it adds a level of convenience.
How to pit cherries without any special equipment
The internet would have you believe you can pit cherries with all sorts of household do-dads from paperclips to straws. Some of these tricks are easier said than done. Here’s the lowdown on these techniques:
- How to pit cherries with a paper clip: Unbend a paper clip, wash it, de-stem all your cherries, and use one end of the paper clip to poke into the cherry, stick firmly into the pit, and push the pit through. Or, don’t. Because this process requires agonizing exactness, is slow and extremely messy.
- How to pit cherries with a straw: You can’t. The straw bends, and it just doesn’t work. That said, using a straw is a great way to hull strawberries with almost zero waste.
- How to pit cherries with a chopstick or a pastry tip: Poking a pit through the firm flesh of a cherry using a chopstick is virtually impossible. The blunt edge doesn’t even bite into the cherry pit the way a paper clip does. The pastry tip is slightly better than the chopstick but less effective than the paper clip, I suppose because your fingers are closer to the cherry and therefore able to hit the pit with more accuracy.
Bottom line: While these are fun hacks to try, we can’t in good faith recommend them for anything but a little (messy) fun.
The easiest, no-tools-needed way to pit cherries
The fastest, easiest, least frustrating, least expensive way to pit cherries is to use your hands, or, more specifically, your fingers. Simply pull out the stem, and push your finger through the non-stem end. The cherry will break into two pieces, maybe three, and the pit will be free. Done.
Yes, if you’re using dark red cherries (as opposed to, say, Ranier cherries), your fingers will look like Lady MacBeth’s. Is it that terrible to get a little juice on your fingers when the end result is a heap of freshly pitted cherries you can use in this Michigan cherry pie?