How to Pit Cherries


Originally published in July 2015; updated June 2021.

Whether you are prepping to make a delicious cherry recipe or feeding a snack of fresh cherries to little ones, the actual process of pitting a cherry can be, well, the pits! That’s because there are a variety of cherry pitting techniques out there and it’s hard to know which works and the one to use. The following one-minute video shows the step-by-step process for pitting a cherry with three different (and proven to work!) methods. Now, you can feel comfortable pitting cherries with a paperclip, using a chopstick and bottle to remove the pit of a cherry, or that fun kitchen tool known as a cherry pitter that effortlessly pops the pit out every time.

No matter which cherry pitting method you end up using, we hope it leads to the creation of tasty recipes with fresh Stemilt cherries this summer! Watch the video below to find out how to pit cherries.

Method #1: Pitting a Cherry with a Paperclip

This method proves you don’t need fancy kitchen gadgets to pit a cherry. To get started, locate a large metal paperclip. Then, open the paperclip up by gently pulling the clip part outward. If the cherries you have are large in size, pull the end of the paperclip slightly in order to make a wider scoop for your paperclip.

Next, remove the stem of the cherry. Then, puncture the curved end of the paperclip into the stem bowl of the cherry. Push it down to locate the pit and then move the paperclip around the pit in a circular motion. Pop the cherry put out, and you have a pitted cherry.

Note: This is not the cleanest or quickest method for pitting cherries. You might want to wear gloves in order to prevent red-stained hands!

Method #2: Pitting a Cherry with a Chopstick and Bottle

For a quicker method to pit cherries, try using a chopstick and empty glass water bottle. Place the cherry sideways on the opening of the water bottle. Remove the stem by twisting it off. Then, take the pointy end of the chopstick and push the cherry pit through the other side, and down into the bottom of the bottle. You might need to put a little oomph into it to get the pit out!

Note: If you don’t have a chopstick handy, a sturdy straw also works well with this cherry pitting method.

Method #3: Pitting a Cherry with a Cherry Pitter

If you intend to pit quite a few cherries, and do so year-after-year, you might consider investing in a handheld cherry pitter. The actual use of this inexpensive kitchen tool will vary by the cherry pitter you own, but in general, the steps are the same. First, remove the stem of the cherry by twisting it off. Then, place the cherry on its side into the open part of the pitter. Press the clamp and then quickly release to remove the pit. They also have pitters that can pit multiple cherries at once. Now that’s efficient!

Which cherry pitting method is your go-to? Do you have a favorite that we failed to demonstrate? Share your cherry pitting techniques and tips in the comments below!