Who can resist a juicy cherry with dessert? They top sundaes, can be used in cakes, and make for tasty additions in dozens of others of our favorite desserts. That is, once you've pitted them. No wants to bite into a slice of pie and break a tooth on a pit that wasn't removed. But, when there's no pitter around how do you get the job done? We have you covered with the simplest ways to get that little bugger out of there without the hassle.

How To Pit Cherries

cherries next to their pits on a plate

1. Chopsticks

It's finally time to reach into the junk drawer and pull out those leftover chopsticks. This is easily the most headache-free method you can use because you only need two things:

  • An empty bottle or large bowl
  • A set of chopsticks (probably just one to boot)

Place your cherries over the neck of the bottle or over a large bowl. Stick the chopstick in through the stem end and the pit will come out from the other side. It's probably better if you use a bottle for this method so that the pits don't go flying everywhere.

2. Paperclips

You literally only need one paperclip for this method. Okay, maybe several if the one you're using gets covered in cherry flesh. All you need to do is:

  • Unravel the paperclip
  • Poke one end through the stem end and feel around for the pit
  • Once you've located it, scoop it out

This one might seem like it will take some time, but it's actually a pretty simple technique to master. Admittedly, you might decimate a few cherries when you're first getting the hang of it, but once you get the method down you'll be removing those pesky pits with ease.

3. Knives

cherries cut in half with a knife

There are several different knives you can use, such as a chef's knife, but to get the best results and the smallest mess, it's best to use a paring knife. You'll also need to work off a hard surface like a cutting board or countertop.

  • Place your cherry on top of your surface
  • Cut the cherry with your paring knife the same way you would an avocado: rock it all the way around your cherry then twist it open
  • Remove the pit from there

The cool thing about pitting cherries this way is that you wind up with halved fruit, which can be used in various dishes like parfaits, smoothies, or pies.

Bear in mind that some people like using butcher or chef's knives to remove the pit, but since you're working with such a small fruit a larger knife will more than likely make a mess of things.

4. Pastry Tips

God, when do pastry tips not come in handy? They're here to save the day once again, folks. The only other tool you need to grab is a large bowl.

  • Hold your cherry over the bowl
  • Use the pastry tip to shoot the pit into your hand
a woman pitting cherries with a pastry tip

Using a bowl is the best way to avoid hitting yourself in the eye with a stray pit or have them go flying. You can, however, also work off of a sturdy surface like a cutting board or countertop. For this route simply:

  • Plant your pastry tip on your surface with the pointy side up
  • Place your cherries over the top and push until the pit comes out

5. Straws

Just about everyone has a straw hanging around the house. Make sure you find one that's not too large and you can use it the same way you would a chopstick.

  • Place your cherries over the neck of a bottle or over a large bowl
  • Push the straw through the stem end until the pit comes out the other side

Once again, it might be best to use a bottle to keep things tidy. It also leads to an easier cleanup too, since you can just discard the pits from the bottle before recycling. Something to keep in mind about this method, though, is that straws might catch some flesh during the pitting process. It's best to turn to a chopstick instead since you're less likely to run into issues.

a person pitting a cherry with a straw

Okay, sure, cherry pitters are the obvious choice for a simple way to get those guys outta there, but not everyone has one just lying around. Bet you didn't think you could pit cherries with the stuff you did have lying around, did you? Some methods will work better for you than others, but it's all a process of elimination. The good news, too, is that there are ways for everyone to get the job done. It's all about your tastes.

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