If you’re making a sauce, cherries jubilee, or cherry pie, you’ll need to pit these juicy seasonal treats. Here are a few easy methods.

By Real Simple
Updated September 23, 2016


What You Need

  • cherries, bib apron or kitchen towel, chef’s knife, cutting board, bowl, paring knife, chopstick or straw, cherry pitter

Follow These Steps

  1. Peak season cherries are full of juice and they can stain, so cover up with a bib apron or a kitchen towel tucked in like a bib.
  2. Method 1 (the “olive” method): Place the cherry on a cutting board. Use the side of a chef’s knife to press on the cherry until it gives way.
  3. Pry the fruit apart to reveal the pit and discard it.

    Tip: This method is quick, but it mashes the cherries and you lose some of the juice on your board.
  4. Method 2: Take a paring knife and rock it around the entire cherry, as you would an avocado or peach.
  5. Twist the fruit into 2 halves to reveal the pit; pop it out and discard it.

    Tip: This method results in cherry halves with clean edges, which looks pretty on top of a tart.
  6. Method 3: Using a chopstick, insert the small end into the stem end of the cherry. Give it a wiggle until you make contact with the pit.

    Tip: You can also use a straw for this method.
  7. Switch to the larger end of the chopstick and insert it into the cherry, wiggling until the pit pops out the opposite end.

    Tip: Work over a bowl to catch all the cherry juices.
  8. Method 4: Using a cherry pitter, place a cherry in the center of the pitter. Squeeze down to pop out the pit.

    Tip: No matter which method you use, make sure to give the cherries a once-over before using in case you missed any pits.