I have some sweet cherries but no pitting tool. What should I look for? Or, is there an easy way to get the pits out?
A pitting tool is very cheap. I used one I paid maybe $4 for it. It pushes a round metal or plastic rod through the cherry and this pushes the pit through the flesh and out the other side. Cutting them in halves can also be a done, but if you have a lot, it could be a tedious chore.
Thanks Ken (it is Ken isn't it?). I will look for a pitter like you describe at the local hardware store or Walmart. Sounds easier than cutting in half.
Sour cherries are easy to pit by hand but with the sweet cherries Ken's right. Unless you want to take the time to halve them, it's easier to buy an inexpensive pitter.
I have a Leifheit, which is not so inexpensive, but over the years it's paid for itself in added convenience.
Ive seen these at Christmas tree shop, some hardware stores, Agway, and even at Walmart if its a big super store. If not, here is a source too.. I even found a source that can do about 6 or more cherries in one stroke. Perfect for those who do bushels at a time..
Here is a link that might be useful: Cherry pitters
Thanks! I have bookmarked the site! Will check here first and if I don't find one I'll use the Kitchencraft site. Thank you for the link.
I missed your post til just now Carol. I will look for a good pitter locally first. I love pampered chef....I wonder if they have one.
Pampered Chef does have one but it is exactly the same as the others. I got mine when I hosted a show for a friend who was starting out. I'm pretty sure it is more expensive.
Yes its Ken. The link below has a multiple cherry pitter for those into a big pitting job.
Here is a link that might be useful: Massive cherry pitter
Oh wow Ken! Maybe if I had a cherry orchard! Man that thing looks like it could do the trick though! Guess I'll have to stick with the inexpensive kind since I don't have access to a lot of cherries. Thanks for the link though! Great site to browse around.
Thanks Melly, I'll ask my friend who sells. I bet it might be higher quality than the others though, right?
I have a pitter too but we also use a bobby pin- it actually works quite well. That way my hubby can get in on the pittin action
LOL flatlander2, talk about improvising! Sounds like it works well, so I'll make a note of that! Thanks!
If you aren't planning to can the cherries there's a free way to pit them: bite them in half then spit out the pit and two halves! A bit gross for family and friends but a nice clean way to feed cherries to a dog, if he knows how to take food gently from your mouth.
For canning, I also use the Leifheit pitter and find it works very well on cherries. It's also good for kalamatas and other soft olives, but doesn't work very well on green olives or other "clingstone" type olives.
Thanks Melissa. I am going to the local hardware stores tomorrow to find a pitter!
I have a pitter but prefer to pit by hand, in front of the tv at my leisure. None of the pitters I have tried have been so great that I want to stand at the counter and work on it. I have long nails so I just slide a thumbnail in and pull the pit. I think I used the end of a vegetable peeler last year too.
No long nails here, but I do have a veggie peeler that would work. I found a pitter at the local hardware store too. Like you seneca_s, I like to sit to work!
Is there a difference between a cherry pitter and a cherry stoner? I ordered a "cherry stoner" recently (not the one Ken linked to), and it's more of a cherry smasher. It does remove the pits, but the rest of the cherry gets completely mushed in the process. Would have been fine if I was making cherry jam, but I had to go back to cutting my cherries in half to make maraschinos. I still have cherry stains on my fingers! :-D
Oh, I have no idea Julie! It may have to do with the ripeness of your cherries? Maybe if they are over-ripe the tool you used smashed them...but I have no idea. Could be a defective or dull pitter/stoner???? Cherry jam....yummmmmm!
The firmness of the cherry can make the difference. Some pitters will just use a rod and push the stone/pity out the other side. Some commercial methods actaully drill a small hole in the cherry prior to pushing out by the same plunger method. For maraschinos, the cherry is quite firm to begin with and they are usually positioned so the stem end gets the pit push out in that direction. About the only pitting method I can never understand, is the cherry with the stem still attached, with no stone inside. Stone pit seed, they all mean the same hard round mass inside that can break a tooth. Ever see the cans of commercial pie filling, or even baked goods that contain cherries. They do have warning labels advising to be on the lookout for an occaisional pit.
Year ago, A cousin of my dads had brought over cookies for us kids. After he left, I bit into one cookie and nearly broke a tooth on a bent nail that was baked into it.. Wish I has saved that for a lawsuit, but I was just a kid back then, and didn't know any better.
While on this vain.. I had eaten in a Chinese resturant, at lunch time on day, and was eating a bowl of hot and sour soup. When I got close to the bottom, I spooned up something very sharp that was in my mouth. I pulled it out and found it was a partial strand of that heavy duty steel wool they use for scrubbing big pots. It was sharp and cut in a few places in my mouth. When I told the waiter, he shrugged it off by saying that it was from the cleaning of the pot. Needless to say, I didn't like is answer, but I was in a rush to get back to work again. Every time I pass that place, I always think of that, and tell anyone who eats there to avoid the place, called- Fantasy Island.
OMG Ken! A piece of steel wool! That's bad enough, but I just knew you were going to say it was a rat claw or something else gross! LOL. One of the local food places here had problems with rats in their warming pans for buffets! They also were known to sun dry their tomatoes out back with no screen or anything to keep the insects and cockroaches off of them either. Needless to say, they didn't stay in business very long. I don't think they understood the concept of cleanliness...or thought we idiots wouldn't know any different. However I know that if we could see the kitchens of the restaurants we do eat at we would be appalled at the filth.
I always cringe when I hear about a restaurant failing a health inspection. I worked in a camp cafeteria my first summer out of high school, and we got a hundred percent on our inspection. It wasn't that hard! Yes, we kept a very clean kitchen, and the inspectors came on a good day, but we were a bunch of barely-trained kids. And you don't need a hundred percent to pass.
I mentioned trying to return the cherry stoner and get my money back, but DH would rather I keep it and make him some cherry jam. Haha. Plus, he's dying to try somehing called Cherry Obsession that I've heard about on this forum but never tried. May have been Annie's recipe, but I'm not sure. I'm on the lookout for a new cherry pitter for next year's maraschinos, but I have no idea where I'll put it, because the kitchen gadgets just keep piling up!
Oh, I know about gadgets! I buy every gadget I see whether I think I'll use it or not. LOL. I must have inherited it from my dad...he had every gadget that ever came out! He loved canning tomatoes...but he taught me the dangerous way....just hot jars, hot tomatoes and juice with salt and sugar, then let them cool turned upside down. Its a wonder we are still alive! This year I am going to do them the right way...hot water bathed with citric acid and lemon juice.
I grew up in a convenience food family. I think my mother is stunned that took up canning! It's still a little mind boggling to me that people make their own tomato sauce. At home! From tomatoes! I learned to buy plain sauce and add my own seasonings and call it "from scratch."
Now I've got my eye on a $70 tomato sauce maker. You put fresh raw tomatoes in the top and turn the crank, and the peels and seeds come out one chute and tomato sauce comes out another. Theoretically.
I believe that device is the Villaware food strainer. It has conical shaped sieves and, yes, it pushes the seeds and skins out the end, while the juice and pulp are squeezed out the fine holes in the side of sieves. They also offer several sized hole sieves for finer seeds like raspberries, and course, for apple sauce, pumpkin, etc. I couldn't live without the unit here, and mine even has an optional motor attached instead of cranking manually. A bushel of tomatoes takes only a few minutes to do.
Here is a link that might be useful: Johnny's Roma strainer
Yes, Ken, that's very similar to the one I was looking at. And cheaper!
Yes, that was a intended to show you that the prices do vary. Even for Johnny's site, you might find these for even less on eBay. As to the screens, and grapes, you would use the same screen that is for tomatoes (the one that comes with the machine), but you would also need the shorter red spiral auger. The reason is simple, grape seeds are quite large and can jam the machine if you use the regular spiral. I used that combo one time, and made about a gallon of concord grape juice. I used the finer holed berry screen for red raspberies, and it didn't let a single seed through. Annie, has had problems though, as she seems to get seeds to fit through the screen. It might be that the raspberries she uses have smaller seeds, or the screens holes are slightly larger. In any event, for me and raspberries, anything made with them, without seeds is one of my favorites, right next to boysenberries..
Oooh, that is what I am looking for! Thanks for the link Ken. I think I am going to get all three pieces...the strainer, the motor, and the accessories....about $147 which isn't too bad.
The motor unit for me was a blessing as it allowed me to keep stuffing tomatoes in one after another. The issue though, is you need to clamp this onto a surface that will have the ability to hold a big pot under the side shute (which is lower than the middle of the machine) to catch all the good stuff. The newer models of these have a clear plastic cone that snaps on the open end of the sieves to extend out the waste further. I usually put all the waste through a second time, as it will get a bit more of the good juices. The motor unit is really meant for a pasta machine, but its easy to attach, even though the thing looks a bit like an after thought, and uses big washers and metal brackets to hold it onto the shaft of the auger..
I was soooooo lucky...........picked mine up at a garage sale for $5.00! Still in the box with the manual. It may have been used..........once.
It's definitely a timesaver if you have lots to process. I wish I had a better place to clamp it, but still.....it works!
Good grief Deanna, I should be so lucky. Gotta get me one!
I think I'll give this one to myself for my birthday.
The very old Victorio was the original model. It had a wooden plunger and no plastic splash guard around the sieves. It also had no O ring seal at the crank shaft end, so liquids would leak out. All that changed about 12 years ago, to what you see now. The main concept is stilll there, but the most noticable difference is the screens themselves. The old Victorio had two big wingnuts on each side, to clamp it to the housing. The newer models used a single small thumb screw and twist onto the housing instead. The thumb screw holds the sieves in place. Here is another site that sells these.
Interesting to note, I found that even though Jarden is the parent company of Villaware, these food strainers are now called ROMA brand, and are not found under the name Villaware anymore. They are essentially the same, with just a different name. I have seen them also called Back to Basics..
Here is a link that might be useful: Roma sauce maker
Here's another way. Just poke the hooked part into the cherry and twist a bit. It works well! Maureen
Looks like your photo link is broken..
Something I just discovered this season is that cherries pit much better if they're frozen. The pit comes out more cleanly, cherry juice doesn't squirt all over the place, and even if the cherries are very ripe, they don't get smashed.
I discovered also that frozen cherries make a very nice snack on their own when it's this hot out.
The first year I made cherry jam I stood at the kitchen sink with my telephone headset on talking to my DM & watching the birds at the feeders while hand pitting the cherries...by using my thumb to push the pit through. Of course this really stains the hands. The second year I bought a Pampered Chef pitter which wasn't any faster. Two years ago at the local Mennonite hardware store I noticed an inexpensive cherry stoner by Norpro and bought it. I now pit cherries in a quarter of the time while pitting 3x's more...but I do set it up outside because it sure makes a mess in the kitchen. My next investment will be a pitter with a larger hopper and pit tray.
I deleted the image by mistake! LOL Here's what I was trying to describe. Maureen
SERIOUS cherry pitter!! Try Homestead Harvest, it does 70 cherries per minute
Sorry, slow. I always used an old-fashioned hairpin - not the closed type bobby pin of today - to pit cherries. Last year I picked up a cherry pitter. Now if I can just find some cherries other than the high priced ones at the supermarket. My brother bought my folk's home after they died and it has a very nice cherry tree in the back yard. He doesn't use the cherries, but he won't let me have any. Scrooge!
Well, I am just now getting back to this post! No cherries here yet this season ....it will be awhile before they show up! I'd hurt myself with the paper clip tool :)
Slow, 70 cherries per minute? Did you see the info? The pitter isn't doing a single cherry, but instead it does four on one stroke. I recall seeling one that does 6-7 per stroke.
I was looking for additional ideas on this subject this morning. Love the frozen cherry idea. On another site someone came up with using a regular pencil with the eraser removed, leaving the metal inplace. Placing the cherry over a narrow necked bottle and pushing the metal end thru the cherry. Pit ends up in the bottle. I'll try that one in a few months.
Pencil with paint, lead, wood, and some soft metal, and who knows want else. A cherry pitter for a single cherry is easy and cheap, as well as being far more 'food safe'.
Here is a link that might be useful: Oxo cherry pitter
I simply MUST be sarcastic here...
How to pit a cherry:
1) Pick up cherry.
2) Insert into mouth.
3) Remove cherry pit using tongue and cheek. (Teeth help too)
4) Spit out cherry pit.
5) Chew, then swallow cherry. ;)
6) Repeat as necessary.
Your cherry has now been pitted. Unfortunately, you've eaten it too so you can't actually save it for later. ;)
I suppose you think that 'mouth' method can be used to make cherry pies and jams too? YUK!
I suppose you think that 'mouth' method can be used to make cherry pies and jams too? YUK!
Well, no actually. A drawback(?) of this particular method is that the cherries get eaten while fresh. But is that really a drawback? ;)
Seriously, I wasn't suggesting this as a means for pitting cherries for use in jams and pies. Sorry if that's what came across. I was reading this thread and got an enormous craving for fresh cherries. Naturally there are none in the stores right now (I checked, just to be sure). (Sigh!!) Guess I'll have to shelve that craving until the cherries are in season again. :(
I hope to see a few cherries here on a small tree I planted last year. Its the sour cherry, montmorency type. Almost didn't come out of dormency until mid July, when it finally started to branch out and get more leaves. My dad was partial to bing cherries and right now, they do sell them, but they come from Chili. He decided to stew some in booze. He filled a jar with the bings and poured in some VO whiskey. They are still in my fridge and have remained there for well over 20 years now. No signs of any spoilage, and I would expect them to be quite mellow by now.
Bings are nice for fresh eating, but not as well suited for canning or pie making, because they don't hold up as well as sour types.