Editor's note: I'm thrilled to introduce my pal Flynn De Marco as a contributor to the site. Flynn comes with a wealth of community management and writing experience, having founded and run Gay Gamer, and written for Kotaku, Gawker's gaming news site. In recent years, Flynn has also been bitten by the DIY food bug, as have we all, and has become a devotee of Punk Domestics. He'll be contributing as Fruit Brute, focusing on tool roundups (such as this one), community profiles and more, and with his amply tatted arms, will be helping to keep the punk in Punk Domestics. Welcome, Flynn! --Sean
Ah, the cherry pitter. That oft-neglected kitchen gadget that takes up room in your already full kitchen drawer. But if you are a canner and faced with 20 pounds of cherries that need to be pitted in a hurry, this little gadget can be your best friend.
Like most kitchen gadgets, there are plenty of styles across a broad price range. Which one is right for you is really a matter of personal preference, but here are a few choices to get you pointed in the right direction if you are considering a purchase.
Starting at the high end, there is the TSM Products Stainless Steel Cherry Stoner. At nearly $300, this is certainly not an entry level tool, but it boasts the ability to pit six cherries at a time. The reviews on Amazon are less than stellar, but if you like the prestige of a fancy pitter, and have gobs of shelf space, this might be the one for you.
From there, the price point drops dramatically. There are a few in the $80 price range, but for real value at around $17.00 plus shipping, there’s the Ultimate Cherry Pitter with Hopper featured on FarmCurious. This little beauty pits one cherry at a time, but allows you to load its hopper with as many cherries as you can fit. While this one won’t require a shelf, it will need some significant space in a deep drawer.
A few dollars down from there is the OXO Good Grips Cherry Pitter, which sells for around $12.95. Again, it’s a one cherry at a time, and you have to load them individually. However, it takes up relatively little drawer space. This is the one I have, and I really like it a lot. It makes the pitting go really fast and clean up is easy.
On the really cheap end of commercially available pitters, there is the spring-loaded Cherry And Olive Pitter. It’s only $3.95 but you will know why after using it for just a few minutes. This one causes a lot of hand cramping, and at a recent cherry canning gathering at my place, we abandoned it pretty quickly. It made quite a bit of a spatter mess and kept breaking and having to be re-adjusted.
Finally, we have the DIY solutions for those that don’t want another gadget around the house or would rather not spend the money. I have used both of these methods to varying success. First, my preferred of the two methods is using a star frosting/pastry tip. Simply put the tip end in the top of the cherry and use your thumb to push it through.
The other method involves using a bobby pin or paper clip. Bend your clip into an "S" shape and insert the wider curved end through the top of the cherry. Then, using the hook, pull the pit out. The Bobby pin method is similar: Just bend the pin into a " U" shape and go to town! The clip or pin are both very frugal and space saving, but as you can imagine, extremely messy and rather slow. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and an apron to avoid stained clothes and hands.
Do you have ingenious DIY ideas for pitting cherries or a particular pitter you really like? Let us know in the comments!