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Pit Cherries Without A Cherry Pitter: 3 Genius Hacks

If all that stands between you and your favorite cherry dessert are scores of cherries that need pitting — and you don't have a cherry pitter — here are three ways to get the job done using ordinary objects. #macguyver


The anatomy of a cherry. | Photo by Meredith

The rock-hard pit or seed in the the middle of a cherry is the last thing you want to bite into when you're eating a luscious cherry pie or cherry cobbler. And it will be the last thing you bite into, right before you make an emergency call to your dentist.

Removing the pit from such a small fruit is no small task. You can use a sharp paring knife to cut the cherry all the way around from top to bottom, then twist the two halves apart in opposite directions. If you're lucky, the cherry pit will pull away neatly from one half, but you'll still need to use the point of your knife to dig it out from the other half of the cherry. Leaving you with two halves. That's fine for most recipes, but what if you want whole pitted cherries? Try these clever solutions.

3 DIY Cherry-Pitters

1. Cheap Fork and Pliers

You know you've got your hands on a cheap fork when you can easily bend it with a pair of pliers. But it does have its uses. In this DIY, you'll see how to make a pretty darn clever cherry pitter with the bendy fork method. But the real genius of this is you can use it to pull out the cherry pit from the bottom of the cherry, leaving the stem attached. Perfect for making Chocolate-Dipped Bing Cherries.

2. Paper Clip

Who knew a common office supply could be used as a kitchen gadget? In this video, you'll see how to use a paper clip to neatly scoop the pit out of a ripe cherry.

3. Chopstick and Beer Bottle

Grab an empty bottle (beer, soda, whatever), put a cherry on it stem-side-down (remove the stem first) and use the flat end of a chopstick to push the pit through the cherry and into the bottle. Makes for minimum clean-up and a pretty cool bar trick.

Specialty Cherry-Pitters

If you don't want to go all MacGyver on a heap of cherries, you can buy gizmos and gadgets designed to pit cherries one at a time, a few at a time, or massive quantities all at once.

Now that we've got that covered, find just the right recipe for those cherries.


Photo by Karen Gaudette


Learn all about the different kinds of cherries and what to do with them.

Happy cooking!

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About Karen Gaudette Brewer

Karen Gaudette Brewer came into this world craving salmon; thinks orange zest is the best smell in the world; and never met a green chile chicken casserole she didn't like. She's the author of the book "Seafood Lover's Pacific Northwest" and a longtime food writer. Connect with her on Twitter and see what's for dinner: @nwfoodette.