How Are Olives Pitted?

How Are Olives Pitted? (Image: Andy Sotiriou/Photodisc/Getty Images)

How Home Cooks Pit Olives

How Home Cooks Pit Olives (Image: Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Getty Images)

Olives can be pitted in small quantities by crushing an olive against the side of a chef's knife. This forces the hard pit to be ejected from the olive.

Home Olive Pitter

Olive pitter (Image: Glenn Robertson/iStock/Getty Images)

Another method used to pit olives in small amounts is the olive pitter or stoner. These contraptions hold the olive in a ring and the two handles are squeezed together. At the end of one handle is the ring holding the olive, and the other handle terminates in the shaft. This shaft moves into the center of the olive, and pushes out the pit through the hole in the ring. These devices are also called cherry stoners or pitters.

Commercial Equipment for Pitting Olives

Commercial Equipment for Pitting Olives (Image: mercedes rancaño/iStock/Getty Images)

Many large commercial operations use an olive pitting machine, although their cost has required that small olive producers pit olives by hand using one of the above methods. Olive pitting machines are designed to pit olives with the same diameter. The olives are fed into the machine, where an x is punched into one end while a circular piece the same diameter as the pit is cut from the other end. The pit of the olive is pushed out through the x cut.

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