How To Pit a Cherry – Techniques

One of my all-time favorite memories with my grandparents was sitting around our kitchen table in Texas during their summer visit, and canning fresh summer peaches right off of our peach trees for the winter.

I can recall sitting around the table for hours as we talked and laughed. No tv and, heaven forbid, no cell phones, internet or computers!

I can still remember the crazy flowered wallpaper (sorry Mom and Dad) and the sun setting while the summer breeze blew the chiffon yellow curtains in subtle waves.

Those are the special kind of memories that you don’t realize you’re making while you’re in the moment.

If you don’t happen to have peach trees, how about a cherry-pitting party with your children/parents/grandparents/ or crazy friends who like to work for their dessert?

Cherries are a slightly more high maintenance fruit to have around as a snack, or for a pie, because of the seed.

Sadly, this is probably why most people settle for canned cherries swimming in high fructose corn syrup (okay, yum, but bad for you) as opposed to fresh cherries bathing in their own juice (yum, and healthy!).

Let’s discuss a couple of ways to remove the seed and still enjoy the cherry. These techniques only matter if you care how the cherry looks sans seed.

If you don’t care how it looks, bite into it and spit the seed out while grossing out your fellow diners.

For a better approach, go for the easy or the hard way.

The easy way – use a cherry pitter! They cost between $7-20 and, as I could only imagine, would be well worth it.

Yup. This would have been handy to have available.

The hard(er) way – use a toothpick, paperclip or other small, clever device to root out the pit by hand.

I highly recommend doing this with family and friends, watching your favorite movie or tv show, or talking to your dog. Why? it’s a time consuming repetitive task, but well worth it!

Toothpick Method: Stick the toothpick in through the side, find the seed, twist it around an “pop” it out. Okay, it doesn’t pop out so well with the toothpick, but it does work.

The Toothpick Method

The hard way – Use a paperclip. This appears to be every other grandmother’s method, but you know what? It works! Open up the paperclip, and dig into the cherry from the side, scoop around and the pit will come right out. With a little practice!

The Paperclip Method

And here we are at the half way point. I admit I thought about enlisting my kids to help.

Then I thought about my lovely boys. Then I thought about what I was trying to accomplish. Then I started laughing.

Well, it only took me an hour for two pounds of cherries which was far more desirable than cleaning up after two not-so-little boys who would have turned those toothpicks and paperclips into some kind of sparring weapon.

The half way point.

It was hard not to eat all the cherries while I was pitting them. I felt like Sal from the children’s book, “Blueberries for Sal.” Except there were no black bears. And no ka-plunk, ka-plunk.

Incidentally, these fresh cherries made one of the best ever almond oatmeal crisps that I’ve ever tasted.

How to Pit a Cherry



How to pit a cherry
  • 2 lbs fresh cherries
  • 1 cherry pitter, paperclip or toothpick


  • Pit cherries.
  • Serve or use for pie/cobbler/crisp!
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  1. [...] are many methods out there for removing pits that range from a paring knife to a paper clip. Click here for some of the [...]


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