Ingredient Intelligence

5 Easy Ways to Pit Fresh Cherries Without a Cherry Pitter

updated Sep 1, 2023
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If you’re making cherry pie and need to pit a mountain of fresh cherries, then yes, please do yourself a favor and buy an actual

cherry pitter

With that said, there are a few ways to remove the pits from cherries without a fancy gadget — in fact, you likely already have at least one or more of the tools that double as a makeshift cherry pitter.

If you don’t cook with fresh cherries often or simply want to pit a handful of cherries for a sangria, it’s better to use one of methods below as a quick and easy alternative. This way, you can still make delicious cherry muffins or these easy cherry pie bars without having to run to a kitchen appliance store hoping they have a cherry pitter in stock. Here are the best (and simplest) ways to pit cherries sans a pitter!

1. Piping Tip

Yes! You can definitely use your pastry tips for more than just frosting cupcakes and decorating holiday cookies. To pit cherries using a pastry tip — a small rounded or star tip works fine — just place it tip-side up on your work surface. Remove the stem from the cherry and push it onto the piping tip until the pit comes out of the other end. You want to do this firmly but carefully in order to keep the cherry whole.

2. Paper Clip

Your office or desk drawer probably holds a tool that can pit cherries: metal paper clips! To pit cherries using a paper clip, unfold the paper clip, insert one of the hook-shaped ends into the center of the cherry, and dig around the pit until it pops out. This might require a bit of twisting, but it should do the trick quickly.

3. Chopstick

To pit cherries without a store-bought cherry pitter, you can use a single chopstick. Push the thinner end of the chopstick through the stem end of the cherry, until the pit shoots out of the other side.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

4. Wooden Skewer

If you happen to have some wooden skewers leftover from making grilled kebabs, you can try using those to pit cherries, too! To pit cherries with a wooden skewer, push the flat cylindrical end of the skewer through the stem end of the cherry until the pit comes out of the other side.

5. Reusable Straw

Reusable drinking straws can be a great alternative to the usual cherry pitter (not to mention, they’re typically much cheaper). To pit cherries with a straw, remove the stem from the cherry, and push the end of a metal straw through the stem-end until the pit pops out of the other end.

Ways to Use Pitted Cherries in Recipes

In the world of summer fruits, cherries are similar to strawberries and blueberries in that they’re always best enjoyed when they’re in season. If you come across a basket of fresh cherries at the grocery store or local farmers market, try making one of these delicious and easy cherry recipes: