Pitting Cherries Is a Chore. My Favorite Cherry Pitter Is a Game Changer

Show Marie Kondo the door… I’m never getting rid of this unitasker.

Pitting Cherries Is a Chore. My Favorite Cherry Pitter Is a Game Changer
cherry pitter
Simply Recipes / Sarah Crowder

I'm proud of maintaining an uncluttered home, and this applies to my kitchen just as much as any other room in my small apartment. Although I'm an avid and often experimental home cook, over the years I've honed in on which culinary tools are workhorses and therefore worthy of the space they occupy and ruthlessly tossed or donated any that are not. As a result, I rarely purchase or hold on to single-purpose kitchen gadgets, but one glaring exception to this rule is my beloved cherry pitter

Not only is the cherry pitter good at only one task, its usefulness is restricted to a limited season. Yet every year, sometime in late May I find myself pawing around the back of my kitchen drawer until my fingers detect the distinctive shape of my cherry pitter. 

Forgotten for eleven months out of the year, the simple but powerful reason it has remained in my kitchen for so many years is that no other tool compares when it comes to extracting the pit from a cherry.

This cherry pitter isn't a looker. Out of context, you might guess it to be a medical or torture device, but what it lacks in beauty it makes up for in functional elegance. While there are ways to MacGyver cherry pitting—a chopstick, piping tip, or paper clip—I find these methods to be clumsy and to make a mess of both your hands and countertop. 

The cherry pitter delivers on the promise of a tool designed to do one thing well: it easily and cleanly separates the pit from the fruit, making quick work of prepping cherries for anything from baked desserts to a sweet-savory accompaniment for meat.

As with any produce with a relatively short season, when cherries peak I consume them with abandon. Sour cherries become pie, Bing cherries turn into cobbler or a pan sauce for pork, and Rainier cherries are devoured, unadulterated, by the handful. Suddenly, I remember clafoutis exists. Beyond these classic applications, I can work fresh cherries into every meal, upgrading yogurt, pancakes, smoothies, salads, and cheese boards. 

Over the course of June, my cherry pitter will slowly descend again to the bottom of the kitchen drawer, where it will lie dormant until its brief season returns. I’ve got no regrets about this, because I know when the cherries ripen again I’ll already have on hand the kitchen tool that enables me to effortlessly maximize the season.

BUY IT: Cherry Pitter