No pitter? No problem.

If all that stands between you and your favorite cherry dessert are scores of unpitted cherries, you've come to the right place. Here are four easy ways to remove cherry pits, with or without a cherry pitter. Find the method that works best for you.

How to Pit Cherries With a Cherry Pitter

The rock-hard pit or seed in the the middle of a cherry is the last thing you want to bite into when you're eating a luscious cherry pie or cherry cobbler. And it will be the last thing you bite into, right before you make an emergency call to your dentist.

Pitting cherries with a cherry pitter is as easy as it gets: place the cherry in the pitter, squeeze the handle, and the pit pops out. If you're working with large quantities of cherries, there are gadgets that can handle multiple cherries at one time.

If you don't have a cherry pitter, you can use a sharp paring knife to cut the cherry all the way around from top to bottom, then twist the two halves apart in opposite directions. If you're lucky, the cherry pit will pull away neatly from one half, but you'll still need to use the point of your knife to dig it out from the other half of the cherry. Leaving you with two halves. That's fine for most recipes, but what if you want whole-pitted cherries? You'll need to use one of these easy methods:

Close up of cherries
Credit: Catalin-Lungu--EyeEm/Getty Images

How to Pit Cherries Without a Cherry Pitter

1. Use a Cheap Fork and Pliers

You know you've got your hands on a cheap fork when you can easily bend it with a pair of pliers. But it does have its uses.

To remove a cherry pit with a fork, start by bending the two outside prongs all the way down using a pair of need-nose pliers. Next, bend the two middle brings down just at the tips to create a hook.

To pit the cherry, push the hook into the bottom of the cherry and pull it out. It's as simple as that! But the real genius of this is that you can use it to pull out the cherry pit from the bottom of the cherry, leaving the stem attached — perfect for making Chocolate-Dipped Bing Cherries.

2. Use a Paper Clip

Cherry being pitted by paper clip
Credit: Jason Donnelly/Meredith

Who knew a common office supply could be used as a kitchen gadget? To do so, simply unfold the paper clip so you have a hook on both ends. Insert one end into the cherry and dig around until you are able to pop the pit out.

3. Use a Chopstick and a Soda Bottle

Cherry being pitted with a soda bottle and a chopstick
Credit: Kritsada Panichgul/Meredith

Grab an empty bottle (beer, soda, whatever), and put a cherry on it stem-side-down (remove the stem first) and use the flat end of a chopstick to push the pit through the cherry and into the bottle. This makes for minimum clean-up and a pretty cool bar trick.


Explore our collection of Cherry Recipes.