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How to Pit a Cherry

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There are lots of ways to pit a cherry, and if you cook with cherries often (view our slideshow for recipe ideas), it’s worth buying a dedicated cherry pitting tool. But you can also improvise with objects that may already be in your home.

Buy a pitter…

Hand-held cherry pitter This Cuisipro model improves on the standard design by adding a shovel-like edge to the pitter, allowing for quick, one-handed scooping up and pitting of single cherries.   cherry pitter
     
Hopper-style pitter For frequent or bulk cherry pitting, the Leifheit Cherrymat cherry stoner is a must-have. Load a bunch of cherries in the hopper and smack down on the handle over and over-pitted cherries roll out of the shoot and pits fall neatly into the container below.   cherry pitter

…or improvise one (we had success with all of these methods)

Wooden skewer Insert the point of the skewer into the stem end and gently work it down and around the pit until it loosens enough to be pried out.   cherry pitter
     
Paper clip Unbend a clip into an “S” shape. Work one end of the clip down into the stem end of a cherry until you can hook under and pull out the pit.   cherry pitter
     
Drinking straw Poke and then twist a plastic drinking straw into the blossom end of the cherry to remove a plug of the cherry flesh-this makes an exit for the pit. Next, twist the straw into the stem end, pushing gently but firmly until the pit pops out the other side.   cherry pitter
     
Pastry tip As with the drinking straw, press and twist the blossom end of a cherry onto a small star tip to remove a plug. Turn the cherry over and firmly twist the stem end onto the tip until the pit pops out.   cherry pitter

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