The Easiest Way to Pit a Peach

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

When it comes to getting peaches off the pit, there are a few different methods that get the job done. Proceed with caution, though, because not all methods are created equal. There’s truly an easier way to get the job done, and this is it.

Use a Paring Knife and Three Easy Steps

Pitting peaches is easy. There are no fancy tools or unitaskers required — just a sharp paring knife. The easiest way to free the pit is by cutting into the fruit until you hit the pit. Then, slice around the peach, starting and ending at the stem. From there you can use your hands to gently twist each half of the fruit in opposite directions to separate. One side will hold the pit, while the other will be pit-free. If the pit doesn’t fall right out, slide the knife under the top and then the bottom of the pit to loosen it from the flesh, then pull it out with your fingers.

Let’s break it down to recap.

  • Slice in half: Starting at the stem, use a sharp paring knife to cut into the peach and slice the fruit in half.
  • Twist: Twist each half in opposite directions to separate.
  • Release the pit: If necessary, slide the knife under the top and bottom of the pit and pull it away from the fruit.

Even if the pit stubbornly clings to the fruit, make sure to use a light hand when pitting peaches — these stone fruits are delicate and bruise easily.

Some Peach Varieties Are Easier to Pit than Others

The type of peach you’re working with also make a difference in how easy (or difficult) it is to pit. Yellow and white peaches are categorized by how well the fruit’s flesh holds to the pit — they can either be freestone, clingstone, or semi-freestone. Overall, ripe freestone peaches are by far the easiest to pit. They also happen to be the variety you’re most likely to find at the market. The flesh does not cling to the pit, so when cut in half the pit is extremely easy to remove and often it falls out on its own.

Save your peach pits: Almond Peach Pit Milk

The Difference Between Freestone and Clingstone Peaches

As the names imply, the difference between these two peach varieties is how much the fruit’s flesh clings to the pit. Freestone peaches have fruit that easily falls off the pit, while the pit stubbornly clings to the flesh of clingstone peaches.