How to Pit Cherries Without a Pitter

Pitting cherries is right up there with removing pits from mangoes and unripe peaches in those “pulling out your hair” kind of kitchen tasks.  There are special cherry pitters available, but what do you do if you don’t have one?  Never fear, you can pit cherries with a simple household tool with this kitchen tip.To pit cherries without a cherry pitter needs just one simple office supply - a large paper clip!

My husband came home with a big bag of cherries the other day (‘since they were on sale!”)  We ate them in fruit salad for a while and then I decided to use up the rest of them in a cherry cobbler recipe. So I set about cutting them in half and trying to get the pits out of them, only to discover that it was going to take FOREVER and the unripe ones had no chance at all of releasing the darn pit!Bowl of cherries

I had a look at cherry pitters online to discover that they look a bit like a large hole punch.  So that made me think that poking something into the cherry might release the pit. And it does, IF you have very ripe cherries.  Mine were a mixture, so I decided to try and figure out a twist method with a simple household tool – a large sturdy paper clip. And tada!  This tutorial was born!!

How to Pit Cherries without a Cherry Pitter.

There are a few things to keep in mind with this method. 

  • The twist method will work on unripe cherries just fine (about half of mine were unripe) but it is still easier if you have ripe cherries
  • Use rubber gloves.  I started pitting my cherries without them and it wasn’t long before my hands were bright red. So…on go the gloves!Wear rubber gloves to keep your hands clean
  • Use a large sized paper clip. The pit of a cherry is larger than you might think.  You need a sturdy, larged sized paper clip to remove it easily.

Getting started

Start by opening up your paper clip so that the larger end of it can be used as a hook  Remove the stems and hold the cherry in one hand.Open up a large paper clip to form a hook

To pit cherries, insert the wide end of the paper clip hook into the area of the cherry where the stem was. Give the paper clip a twist and then pull out the pit. 

Twist and pull the paper clip

It takes a few tries to get quick at the process. Ripe cherries will release their pits easily but for unripe ones, be sure that the twist goes all around the pit. Once you get the hang of it, the procedure goes quickly.

PItted cherry

I pitted this whole bowl of cherries in about 5 minutes. Bowl of pitted cherries

I love kitchen tips that same me time and money.  Who needs a cherry pitter when you have a paper clip?PItting cherries with a paper clip

And now, off to make my cherry crumble!


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission, but the price will be the same for you. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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