I love cherry desserts. And summer brings tons of opportunities to make cobblers, pies, and clafoutis. But pitting the fresh fruit is messy and annoying.
Recently I embarked on the Sisyphean task of making my maraschino cherries, and I used the OXO Cherry & Olive Pitter for the first time. Though I usually subscribe to the philosophy that single-task gadgets aren’t worth the money and storage space, this tool quickly converted me.
It single-handedly made pitting all those cherries cleaner, faster, and more efficient than any technique I’ve used in the past.
Although Shokherdeal has yet to do full-scale testing of cherry pitters, several kitchen team members use the OXO Cherry & Olive Pitter at home. You load a cherry into the little depressed cup that accommodates both large bing cherries and smaller sour cherries, squeeze the tool, and the die-cast zinc rod pushes on the pit and shoves it out of the bottom.
Here’s why Shokherdeal’s team, including our kitchen experts, love it and why you may want to get one for your next baking session.
Cherry-pitting alternatives could be better.
In the past, I have pitted without a pitter, and it’s the pits. I’ve tried the straw hack (video), which needs a solid straw or chopstick to eject the pit, and it doesn’t remove the pit cleanly (with the added punishment of getting juice everywhere). I’ve never tried the bobby-pin trick, but famed pastry chef David Lebovitz has a few choice words about it.
I’ve also attempted to slice out the pit with a paring knife, which is messy, dangerous, and wastes fruit.
Of course, other pitting tools are available, but only some are as thoughtfully designed. A multi-cherry pitter (video) has been bouncing around social media. It seems like massive overkill for an everyday baker who needs to be canning on their homestead for the winter or making cherry pies for a living.
So, why do we love the OXO pitter so much?
The OXO pitter has a splatter guard.
“I have a summer ritual of pitting pounds of sour cherries and freezing them for the year, and I would never deign to attempt that without my OXO pitter. I also like that it has the little spray guard, though I still find pitting to be a juicy, spritzy enterprise!” says kitchen editor Gabriella Gershenson.
Indeed, this pitter has a handy removable splatter guard that helps contain the juice as it pushes the pit through the fruit’s flesh. I also noticed minimal droplets on my countertop, which I wiped quickly with a wet sponge. But the tool was so clean that I didn’t need gloves (though throwing on an apron is a smart idea).
It’s easy to squeeze.
I have a wrist issue that makes repetitive open-and-closing motions challenging, but I didn’t have a problem using this tool. Its spring mechanism doesn’t require significant pressure to squeeze it shut, so my wrist and arm didn’t feel fatigued.
We caution that sometimes the pit can still be attached to the cherry by a small piece; it’s important to ensure the pit has completely fallen out so you don’t bite into a cherry with a pit still intact.
The OXO pitter is easy enough to squeeze that some staff members pull in their preschool-age children to help–this is what parents like to call an enrichment activity (aka keeping your kid occupied and not whining for multiple minutes in a row). Bonus: Removing the pit and cutting the cherries into quarters makes them less of a choking hazard for young ones.
It’s easy to clean
Though OXO says the cherry pitter is dishwasher safe, I find it faster to hand-wash it. The splatter guard locks securely in place with a simple twist motion but detaches easily for cleaning. It only takes two swipes with a soapy sponge and a quick scrub of the splatter guard to get the pitter clean.
It’s not a unitasker. After all
But wait, the OXO Cherry & Olive Pitter isn’t just for cherries. It has olives right there in the name! And who among us hasn’t suffered under the hefty weight of a tapenade? Okay, I never have, as I generally buy my olives pitted. But there’s a calm reassurance that should I ever need to pit a Castelvetrano or a Kalamata, my trusty cherry pitter is ready and waiting.