How to Remove Cherry Pits

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Cherries are a fresh, seasonal addition to many different recipes, particularly desserts. Cherries contain vitamin C, fiber and a small amount of calcium. They are also very low in cholesterol and sodium. The method you choose to use to remove a cherry pit depends on your available equipment, your personal preference and whether you wish the cherry to remain intact.

Things You'll Need

  • Cherry pitter
  • Straw
  • Paper clip
  • Knife
  • Bottle
  • Use a traditional cherry pitter for the least amount of mess and fuss. You can purchase one in the cookware section of a store. First, wash the cherry and remove its stem. Many cherry pitters have a "cradle" to place the cherry in, along with a "spike" that pierces through the cherry to push out the pit. Place the cherry in the cradle and squeeze the spike.

  • Pit large amounts of cherries with minimal effort by using an industrial-size cherry pitter. These machines will do most of the work for you. Follow the machine's instructions as to how many cherries you can load at a time. Pour that amount into the indicated basin, crank the handle and the machine will pit the cherries for you.

  • Use a regular drinking straw if you do not have a cherry pitter. Be sure to wash the cherry first and remove the stem. Then, grasping the cherry, push the straw through the center to force the pit out the other end. This method can also remove more of the cherry than a traditional pitter would.

  • Utilize a paper clip if you want the cherry to remain largely intact. Find a large, clean paper clip. Pull the two curves apart so that it looks like two hooks. Twist one of the hooks into a scoop and use it to pull out the pit.

  • Crush the cherries with a knife handle or a clean bottle if you do not care if they remain intact. Then simply sort out the pits from the crushed cherries. Or you could simply slice the cherry in half with a knife and extract the pit with your fingers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Fresh cherries should be stored in the fridge and eaten in no longer than a week. One-half cup of sweet cherries provides 46 calories, whereas a quarter of a cup of dried cherries will yield about 136 calories.
  • When using a cherry pitter, double-check to be sure that the pit was actually removed. If the cherry is especially plump, the spike can slide around the pit.

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