Best Cherry Pitters of 2018
A cherry pitter is a sensible addition to your kitchen arsenal if you regularly prepare recipes that call for them. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best cherry pitter to make whipping up your next cherry smoothie (or Grandma's cherry pie!) an easy task.
Easy as Cherry Pie: Your Guide to the Best Cherry Pitters
When summer rolls around, it's always a treat when sweet, juicy cherries show up for sale. But there is one annoying thing about these tasty stone fruits—pitting a basketful of cherries can be a difficult and time-consuming task. That's why if you make pies, tarts, jam, or just enjoy having cherries as a snack, a cherry pitter can be an essential kitchen tool.
But choosing one isn't always easy because there are many options to consider. You have to decide what style, material, capacity, and other features will work best for your baking (and snacking) needs. With the number of cherry pitters on the market, sorting through all the choices can be a little overwhelming.
That's where BestReviews comes in. We make shopping as simple as possible with our in-depth product research and testing. And since we never accept free samples from manufacturers, you can always trust that our advice is both accurate and unbiased. Looking for the ideal cherry pitter for your kitchen? Check out the matrix above for BestReviews' top picks. For everything you need to know about choosing and using cherry pitters, keep reading.
Why Buy a Cherry Pitter?
There are tons of tasty recipes that call for pitted cherries, but that's not the only reason having a cherry pitter in your kitchen arsenal is a good idea.
- Saves You Money: You can buy frozen and canned cherries that are already pitted at the grocery store, but you'll usually pay more for them. Doing the pitting yourself can help reduce your grocery bill so you can enjoy your favorite cherry recipes more often. Plus, fresh cherries make any recipe taste better.
- Saves You Time: Pitting cherries without a cherry pitter is a time-consuming, frustrating process because you must be very precise with whatever tool you use. A pitter allows you to get through a bunch of cherries in no time, which is especially handy if you need to pit pounds of cherries for a pie or jam.
- Limits the Mess: When you pit cherries by hand without a pitter, juice can go flying, and you can wind up with quite a mess on your hands. A cherry pitter usually eliminates that problem because most models are designed specifically to contain the messy juice.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Cherry Pitter
Cherry pitters are available in two main styles: handheld options and freestanding models.
- Handheld Cherry Pitters: Handheld cherry pitters are small kitchen tools that handle one cherry at a time. You usually have to press on the handles of the pitter to puncture the cherry and remove the pit, so you must have good hand strength to use this style. That typically makes handheld cherry pitters a poor option for seniors or anyone with arthritis or a hand injury.
- Freestanding Cherry Pitters: A freestanding cherry pitter is a larger tool that can pit several cherries at once, but it must be placed on a flat, stable surface like a table or countertop. It usually doesn't require as much hand strength to use because the surface beneath the cherry pitter provides the necessary leverage to pierce the fruit and remove the pits. Freestanding cherry pitters usually have some type of container that collects the pits and juice to prevent a mess in your kitchen, too.
Cherry pitters are most effective when they feature a high-quality metal needle or dowel. Stainless steel and zinc are good options because they're very strong, durable, and corrosion-resistant materials.
Some cherry pitters are all plastic, which makes for extremely lightweight, easy to clean, and budget-friendly pitters. But plastic can be somewhat flimsy, so these cherry pitters aren't as durable as cherry pitters with metal dowels.
Cherry pitters either remove a single pit at a time or handle a bunch of cherries at once. Both types can be effective, but one may be a better option for your kitchen depending on how you plan to use the pitter.
If you're eating only a handful of cherries as a snack, a single-pit cherry pitter is usually sufficient. If you routinely make cherry pies or jam, however, a multiple-pit cherry pitter is often a better option.
- Single-Pit Cherry Pitters: Single-pit varieties are more accurate because you can easily adjust for the size and shape of a specific cherry, which means you won't need to make multiple attempts to remove the pit. But single-pit cherry pitters take more time to pit multiple cherries because you have to do them one at a time.
- Multiple-Pit Cherry Pitters: Multiple-pit options allow you to pit a bunch of cherries at once, so you can save significant time. Some multiple-pit cherry pitters can handle up to 25 pounds of cherries in an hour. However, they don't offer the same accuracy as single-pit cherry pitters because it's impossible to determine exactly where the pitter's needle will land in each individual cherry due to differences in size and shape. That's why you may need to make multiple attempts to successfully pit all of your cherries.
For handheld cherry pitters, it's important to choose a model with a secure handle that makes using the tool as easy as possible. Look for a cherry pitter with a molded, nonslip grip, so you can hold it securely as you work.
Freestanding cherry pitters need a stable base, so you don't have to worry about the pitter tipping over or sliding across the table or counter. Choose one with a nonskid base. Most nonskid cherry pitters have rubberized feet that keep the pitter in place on your table or countertop.
Cherries are a juicy fruit, so it's not unusual for them to create a mess when you remove the pits. Handheld cherry pitters typically feature a splatter shield that prevents the juice from flying at you when you use the tool. Freestanding cherry pitters usually collect the juice in the same container as the pits, so you can easily clean up your mess.
Ease of Cleaning
Because of the juice involved, cherry pitters require a good cleaning after you use them. Some cherry pitters must be hand-washed, which obviously takes more time. Other models are dishwasher-safe for the easiest cleanup.
How Much Should You Pay for a Cherry Pitter?
The prices of cherry pitters generally vary based on the type and how many cherries they can handle at a time. You'll usually pay between $2 and $40.
- Budget-Friendly: Handheld cherry pitters that can only pit a single cherry at a time are usually the most inexpensive option, ranging from $2 to $13.
- Mid-Range: Freestanding cherry pitters that can handle about four cherries at a time usually range from $13 to $20.
- Premium: Freestanding cherry pitters that can handle six or more cherries at a time usually range from $16 to $40.
Q. Do cherry pitters work for all types of cherries?
A. Most cherry pitters can handle cherries in a variety of sizes. That means you can usually pit large cherries like Bing cherries and smaller varieties like sour cherries. However, it's still a good idea to check the product specifications for the cherry sizes that a cherry pitter you're considering can handle.
Q. What features make a cherry pitter more accurate?
A. If you want a cherry pitter that offers the greatest accuracy, opt for one with thicker needles or dowels for puncturing the cherries. You'll wind up wasting a little more fruit with a thicker needle, but there's less chance of missing the pit when you use this type of cherry pitter.
Q. Which type of cherry pitter offers the cleanest operation?
A. A freestanding, multiple-pit cherry pitter usually makes the least mess. That's because they typically have a collection container that gathers the pits and juice during the pitting process. You can dump out the contents of the container when you're done and rinse it to clean up. With a handheld pitter that only handles one cherry at a time, the juice and pit can go flying. Choose a handheld cherry pitter with a splatter guard to minimize the mess.