The sweet-and-tart flavor of cherries satisfies an array of cravings, so it’s a good thing the juicy fruit can be used in a variety of ways. But before you bake them, freeze them, make them into a sauce or eat them fresh, you have to pit them—which is where this handy tool comes in to play.
Cherry pitters have been designed to remove the central pit, or stone, from a cherry (or olive) while leaving the fruit intact and unbruised. The tool comes in different styles and sizes, from small, handheld versions that work on one cherry at a time to larger hand-crank models that can quickly work on a bulk amount. Either way, they typically work like a plunger, pushing out the stem and pit through the core of the fruit without smashing it.
Including both handheld and lever-operated options, here are four of the best cherry pitters available on Amazon.
1. OXO Good Grips Cherry and Olive Pitter
Wrapped in cushy, red no-slip handle, this pitter from OXO works on both cherries and olives. Place one piece at a time in the central holder—which is large enough to hold bigger cherry varieties like Bing—then press down to see the pit quickly shoot out. An included shield ensures that the pit falls straight down, instead of flying all over your kitchen, and also helps minimize splatter. When you’re done, the shield flips into the chamber and the whole tool locks for easy storage.
2. ProTensils Premium Cherry Pitter
Pit cherries and olives in no time—and with just one hand—with this stainless steel tool from ProTensils. Evoking an elongated nutcracker, the tool holds one piece of fruit at a time in a bottom plate; you then press on the handles to bring the de-corer down to push out the stone. Built to be long-lasting and dishwasher-safe, the pitter’s non-corrosive finish will also help keep it stain-free.
3. Westmark Cherry Stoner
Made in Germany, and requiring some light assembly, this hand-wash-only tool will remove pits from up to 33 pounds of cherries per hour. Simply place stemmed cherries in the top tray, then push them through the slanted chute while you push down on the top lever. The stones fall into a spacious bin below, while a splash guard ensures your work area stays clean. Pitting fruit in bulk is ideal for when you need to freeze leftovers from the season, or when you are planning to use the cherries for things like pie filling, preserves or sauces.
4. Leifheit Cherry Pitter
Many recipes for cherry-based dishes require a large amount of the fruit, so this handy tool—which can remove the pits from 25 pounds of cherries per hour—is a quick and painless way to start cooking. Place a handful of pieces on the top tray, push down on the level and watch as the pits (and any splatter) fall into the enclosed container below. The fruit, meanwhile, stays whole, unbruised and ready for canning or baking. The tool features a stainless steel plunger to do the pitting, and can safely be cleaned in the dishwasher.