We Tested 6 Methods for Pitting a Peach, and the Best One Worked Like a Charm
I’m lucky enough to have a neighbor with a peach tree. Each summer, the neighborhood group text lights up with an invite to please stop by and pick whatever we’d like. Turning ripe peaches into peach pies, peach ice cream, and peach crisp to share with the block is one of my favorite parts of summer. The only real issue is dealing with the pits. When handling a lot of peaches at once, you’ll soon realize that pulling out the pits with ease and without bruising the fruit can be quite difficult. So I tried several different tools and tricks to determine the best method for pitting a peach.
So, What Is the Best Way to Pit a Peach?
We found that the best, and easiest, way to pit a peach without bruising is to halve it through the equator, twist to split the two halves, grip the pit with needle nose pliers, and gently twist back and forth and pull the pit free. Read on to learn more about the results of all the methods.
How I Found the Best Way to Pit a Peach
- Purchasing the peaches: I purchased the peaches in the same batch and left them to ripen on the counter for a few days.
- Testing for ripeness: I tested them when they were just soft when gently pressed, like a ripe avocado. I tested two peaches per method.
- Halving the peaches: I halved the peaches through the equator, unless otherwise noted in the method.
- Rating: I rated each method on a scale of 1 to 10. A 10 represents a perfect score and indicates that a method worked easily and quickly, and that a product wasn’t inconvenient to purchase. A score of 1 indicates that a method worked very poorly or that a product was unnecessary or inconvenient to purchase. Overall, I considered the equipment needed, how well the peach stayed intact, and how easily the pit was removed.
Peach Pitting Method: Slice in Half, Remove with Fingers
- Rating: 2/10
- Time: 45 seconds
This is a pretty straightforward method mentioned by sites like Spruce Eats. To do it, halve the peach along the equator with a knife, and twist to separate the two halves. Then, use your fingers to remove the pit. Sometimes the stone in stone fruit will be completely exposed when halved, revealing all the nooks and crannies of the pit. This wasn’t the case with the peaches I was using. There was quite a bit of flesh still attached to the pit after being halved. I was unable to get a good grip on the pit to pull it out — it was much too slippery. I tried to get a grip on the peach in my hand, but that started to bruise the flesh. I ended up gouging out a lot of flesh with my fingers in order to remove the pit.
Peach Pitting Method: Chef’n Peachster Peach Pitter
- Rating: 3/10
- Time: 45 seconds
To use the tool, slide the peach into the Peachster’s notch. Rotate the peach to slice in half and separate. Center the pit in the center of the notch and twist to release the pit. The tool can be used to further cut the peach into wedges or slices.
This cut the peach in half fine, but no better than a knife. When it came to the pit, I had to have a very firm grip on the fruit in my hand to get good leverage to twist the pit out. I ended up totally crushing the fruit in my hand in order to remove the pit. Chef’n has a quick video tutorial on how to use the tool, so I rewatched it before trying it on another peach to make sure I wasn’t doing something wrong. Watching the video more closely, I saw that the video doesn’t actually show the pit being removed — it cuts from the pit in the peach to the pit on the counter. I don’t think my difficulty was just user error. Overall, the Peachster might do a better job on fruit with looser pits, but not enough to warrant buying a unitasking tool.
Peach Pitting Method: Keep Whole, Use Pliers
- Rating: 6/10
- Time: 45 seconds
This method was largely popularized by Padma Lakshmi, and was also covered by Bon Appetit. It simply involves inserting a pair of (clean!) needle nose pliers into the stem end of a whole peach, gripping the pit, and pulling it out. First, I had to hunt down some pliers and give them a scrub. They weren’t particularly dirty, but I wasn’t taking any chances out of something plucked out of an actual tool box. Definitely do not use any pliers that have seen heavy use in the garage, outdoors, etc. Even with a good scrub, any lingering oils, chemicals, or rust can be potentially really harmful to your health.
It turns out this method works decently! It’s helpful to pay attention to the seam of the peach, and insert the pliers perpendicular to get the best grab on the pit. Even still, it’s a little tricky to gauge exactly where it is to get a good hold on it. I did have to twist to loosen the pit — it didn’t just pull out cleanly. The inside flesh got a little gouged out when I had to reposition to get a better grip on the pit. With a little practice, I could see this working better.
Peach Pitting Method: OXO Peach Pitter
- Rating: 8/10
- Time: 10 seconds
I was eager to see if this peach pitter would be the next addition to this list of editor-favorite OXO tools. At first I thought it was the same thing as an apple corer, but there’s a small difference. There is a notch cut into the head of the tool. This allows it to hug the peach pit, making it easier to glide through the fruit and avoid fighting with it. The narrow opening of an apple corer likely wouldn’t be wide enough to accommodate a peach pit.
This tool is absolutely the fastest method and it works easily every time! This tool also wins if you want nice slices instead of chunks. It loses points because it removes the most flesh. Pits from the other peaches all weighed about 20 grams. The pits and attached flesh for these were 35 grams. That said, all of the flesh remained fully intact. That wasn’t the case for many of the other methods, which yielded bruises or and smushed flesh from either gripping the fruit or from the tools. The extra bit of fruit could also be cut off the pit, though that does add an extra step.
Peach Pitting Method: Slice in Half, Remove with Paring Knife
- Rating: 8/10
- Time: 1 minute
This is another straightforward method that requires nothing but some knife work. Halve the peach along the equator with a knife, and twist to separate. Use a paring knife to cut the remaining peach away from the pit.
This standard method works nicely if you’re cutting peaches up for pie or cobbler. It is a little more time-consuming — especially if you’re cutting up more than a couple of peaches. In that case, it may be easier to halve all the fruit first, then go back with the paring knife to cut out the pits. This method does not work if peach halves are needed instead of pieces or chunks.
Peach Pitting Method: Slice in Half, Use Pliers
- Rating: 9/10
- Time: 30 seconds
For this method, halve the peach at the equator first and twist to separate. Use pliers to grip the pit and pull out of the flesh. The main difference between this method and the one with the plier explained above is that you simply have to halve the peach first.
I was surprised how well this worked. Cutting the peach in half exposed the pit, which allowed me to see where to grip the pit. The variable pressure of the tool meant I could really grip the pit with the pliers instead of using my hand to grip the soft fruit for leverage. There was practically no damaged fruit using the process. The downside for this method is that it’s not possible to get nice slices like when halving the peach along the seam of the fruit. And you do have to have a clean pair of pliers handy.
Overall, I don’t think there’s any particular reason to spring for a specialty tool to pit peaches. A knife generally works just fine. If you’re prioritizing speed over everything else, the OXO Peach Pitter is a good option. It makes quick work of pounds of peaches. If you do have some particularly stubborn pits, and/or like to cook with fresh peaches frequently throughout late summer, a pair of pliers is surprisingly helpful. Consider investing in a pair of pliers that live in the kitchen. It’s an affordable addition to your toolkit that goes beyond just peaches!