Find a local pick your own farm here!

Looking for How to Pit Cherries - Several Methods in 2023?  Scroll down this page and  follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above.  If you are having a hard time finding canning lids, I've used these, and they're a great price & ship in 2 days.

If you have questions or feedback, please let me know! There are affiliate links on this page.  Read our disclosure policy to learn more. 

How to Pit Cherries - Several Methods

How to Pit Cherries - several methods

First, of course, wash the cherries. I'm sure you can figure out how to wash the fruit in plain cold water. As with other fruit, also pick out any stems and leaves.

With cherries you must remove the pits. There are inexpensive cherry pitters that work fine for occasional use, or larger more sophisticated pitters if you're going to be doing a lot. BUT we're going to also show you an easier method - we will cook the cherries until they are soft, and then use a food mill or strainer to separate the pulp from the pits. If you have a food mill or other strainer, or you are using frozen pitted cherries, skip to step 3.


Method 1 - Manual one at a time cherry pitters

Slow and tedious, they work but only for small quantities and occasional use.

Pit the fresh cherries, and keep them in cold water with 1/4 lemon juice add (to prevent browning)

A cherry pitter is inexpensive and easy to use, once you learn the trick.  The goal is to push down so the metal stem holds the pit down against the opening in the bottom of the cup.  The pits will not go through the hole; it is just to help trap them.  then releasing your grip, the cherry rides up on the metal stem, while the pit remains trapped in the cup, stuck in the hole. Then just push the cherry off and use your thumb on the underside of the cup, to push the pit back out.


Method 2 - Semi-automatic Cherry Pitters

These work great on moderate quantities of cherries, like a batch of 2 to 10 lbs, because they are much faster than manual one at a time pitters and work fairly reliably.

BEST PITTERS AVAILABLE: Leifheit Pitter and the Norpro Deluxe Cherry Pitter.
These things are amazing; easy fast and reliable. The Norpro can handle larger volumes of cherries reliably! I can pit a cherry per second. The Leifeit is even better, as it is larger!
Comments from a visitor on July 1, 2010: "I wanted to let  you know about the Norpro Deluxe Cherry Stoner/Pitter. These things are GREAT!!!  They pit cherries reliably and remarkably fast!  Just tell your readers to NOT lose the orange inserts (they may be other colors now) that come with the cherry pitter.  They're definitely necessary to actually pit the cherries."

See these videos about setting up and using the Norpro Deluxe Cherry Pitter, to see just how easy and fast it is.

Now, if you absolutely can't get hold of a cherry pitter... I think you could heat the cherries to a boil, then run them through a foley food mill or other strainer, to separate the pits from the cherries.  I haven't tried it, but that ought to be easier than manually pitting cherries with a knife.

Method 3 - Fill the crockpot with the cherries

This method only works if you will be cooking with the cherries, typically as a puree.


cherries in a crockpotStep 1 - heat in a crockpot or other slo-cooker

We will use the crockpot to soften up the cherries so we can pass the pulp through a strainer to remove the pits and any stems.


I fill the crock pot and add 1 cup of apple juice (or cherry juice or water, as you prefer and have available) per pound of cherries.  So, for our 6 lb batch, that's 6 cups of liquid. It may seem like a lot of liquid, but the cherries will absorb a fair amount of it.


I turn it on high and let it go for an hour, then turn it down to low for a couple more hours.



Step 2 - Let cool until it it warm, not hot

Why let it cool? It's pretty hard to pick out the pits while you are burning your fingers, that's why!  So I let it cool just enough that I hand reach in and pick out pits. If you started with pitted cherries, it doesn't matter; you can skip to step 5 and strain while it is hot.

Step 3 - Strain the cooked, softened cherries cherries in the strainer

Once cool, you can run your fingers through it and pretty quickly feel and remove the hard pits.

If you don't mind the cherries becoming a puree, then a cylindrical food strainer, like the Roma or Vittorio work best.  A Foley food mill will work, but it tends to get the pits caught under the blade, so you have to stop frequently to remove pits; but it does a great job and take less time than manually pitting the cherries before cooking.

The Foley food mills (at right) cost about $30.

cherries instrainer and pits

Other approaches recommended by visitors

Whack-A-Mole Method - A visitor writes on June 30, 2014: "Hi! There's a much faster way to de-pit cherries. I just tried it. You need a 13" rectangular glassware pan filled with a single layer of washed cherries and something to cover them like parchment paper (I used a silicone baking mat that fit perfect inside the pan). Finally just gently smack the paper mat with something with heft like a rubber mallet. The clobbered cherries underneath are SUPER-EASY to de-pit. The pits just slide on out from the flesh. I just de-pitted 5 cups worth of small Montmorency cherries from my tree in roughly 35 minutes while watching TV. Just thought I would share this. Cherry pitters are not too helpful for small cherries like this, so definitely pass on the good news. BTW great website! "



Cherry Pitters and Strainers for Cherries and Related Canning Supplies

If you want to make anything with fresh cherries, you will need a cherry pitter.  If you've ever broken a tooth or crown on a cherry pit, you will appreciate the need for a good cherry pitter! And given the wide variety of pitters available, see the reviews and comparisons below to know which cherry pitter is best for your needs and budget.

 We have all makes, model s and prices here. Whether you are canning for your first time or in your 50th year of canning; all the supplies you need are here, and at the best prices you will find anywhere!  Scroll down this page for photos, descriptions, prices and ordering information. See this page for Canners (all types). You can find steam juicers on this page and mechanical juicers here!

Everything All can be shipped by a variety of methods, including overnight, if you have a canning emergency!

For more information, and NO obligation to buy, just click on the links in the boxes on the left!

Cherry Pitters for Canning, Baking, Cooking and Eating Fresh

Norpro Cherry Pitters / Stoners

If you have fresh cherries and you want to do anything with them, you will definitely need a cherry pitter or cherry stoner. There are two basic types the hand held one-at a-time design sold in grocery stores, and the much more practical table model shown at left.

Comments from a visitor on June 09, 2012: "I have one of these cherry pitting "machines" and it works great! much faster than doing each cherry by the hand pitter...but sometimes the cherries get pitted on the side instead of straight down the middle. it doesn't make a difference in the apperance of your canned jars, though."






Leifheit Tabletop Cherry Pitter

Leifheit cherry pitter

  • White plastic cherry stoner with clear plastic catch container
  • Steel plunger punches stones out cleanly leaving fruit intact
  • Can process up to 25 pounds of cherries per hour
  • Non-skid pad on the bottom grips the surface
  • Dishwasher safe


Norpro Deluxe Cherry Stoner/Pitter

Norpro Deluxe Cherry Stoner/Pitter


  • Great for the home baker
  • Clamps to any 3/4-inch thick counter
  • Comes with a catch hopper
  • Speeds up a tedious task
  • Measures 7-1/2 by 6 by 14 inches

Blake, 2012: I got one of these and it does very, very well!

Comments from a visitor on July 1, 2010: "I wanted to let  you know about the Norpro Deluxe Cherry Stoner/Pitter. These things are GREAT!!!  They pit cherries reliably and remarkably fast!  Just tell your readers to NOT lose the orange inserts (they may be other colors now) that come with the cherry pitter.  They're definitely necessary to actually pit the cherries."



Oxo Good Grips Cherry Pitter

Oxo Good Grips Cherry Pitter  


  • Splatter Shield protects work area from juices and removes for cleaning
  • Sturdy, die-cast zinc construction removes pits with ease
  • Soft, comfortable non-slip handles absorb pressure
  • Generous cherry holder accommodates large cherries like Bing and Rainier, and is recessed to secure smaller varieties
  • Locks closed for convenient storage








Old-Fashioned Food Colander / Strainer

This is just like the colander that my grandmother (and probably yours) used.  So many people have asked me where to get one of these, that I finally found one.  It looks very well made. On the other hand, I usually prefer the hand-crank or motorized strainers for anything but a small batch.

Product Description
Chinois Food Mill is made of stainless steel fine mesh and includes wood pestle for easy grinding. This tool is great for sauces, soups, vegetables and fruits.

Product Description
The convenience of a stand allows you to walk away and let gravity and the chinois do the work of straining. Use it for straining stock or in conjunction with the tapered wooden pestle as a food press to squeeze juice from raspberries or pulp from pumpkin while leaving undesirable fibers seeds and particles behind. The funnel shape traps the food so you can have at it with a pestle and it also directs the flow to bowl or pot. Note: Also called a a strainer or misspelled as "collander"

GOOD: KitchenAid K45WSSWH Classic Series 4-1/2-Quart Stand Mixer with Spatula, White

See the seller's website for more information, features, pricing and user reviews!


BETTER: KitchenAid KSM150PS Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield

See the seller's website for more information, features, pricing and user reviews!

BEST VALUE: Factory-Reconditioned KitchenAid RRK150ER Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, Empire Red (or other colors)


  • Reconditioned by the manufacturer to "like new" condition; includes 1-year warranty
  • 325-watt mixer with 10 speeds; 5-quart stainless steel bowl
  • Tilt-back head for easy access to mixture
  • Includes flat beater, dough hook, and wire whip; pouring shield not included
  • Measures 14 by 8-2/3 inches by 14 inches


BEST: KitchenAid KP2671XWH Professional 6-Quart Stand Mixer, White

See the seller's website for more information, features, pricing and user reviews!



KitchenAid Attachments: Food Strainer

Add these to any of the KitchenAid's above, and in addition to the mixer dough maker and other attachments included you can make applesauce with ease, strain seeds from blackberries, make seedless/skinless tomato sauce and ketchup, make sausage grind and strain all kinds of fruits, vegetables and meats.

If you make more than a dozen jars of applesauce per year, it's worth it for that alone!

I've had mine for 20 years and make about 120 quarts of applesauce every year with it, so I know it works and holds up!

To use the strainer you will ALSO need the grinder, to which the strainer attaches. See the next item below:


The food grinder alone

  The food grinder plus the sieve


Kitchen Aid Attachments: Food Grinder

You can buy the food grinder by itself, or bundled with the food strainer / sieve.  If you have neither, obviously, the bundled package is the best value!

I've had mine for 20 years and make about 120 quarts of applesauce every year with it, so I know it works and holds up!


Kitchen Aid Attachments: Mixer Attachment Pack for Stand Mixers


  • Includes food grinder, slicer and shredder, and fruit and vegetable strainer
  • Grinder has fine and coarse grinding blades
  • Two slicing and two shredding cones included
  • Can be used with any KitchenAid stand mixer
  • Most parts are dishwasher-safe


kitchenAid ice cream maker attachment

Kitchen Aid Attachments: Ice Cream Maker Attachment

No need to buy a separate ice cream maker when you can just get this attachment for your KitchenAid.

 kitchenaid pasta rollers

Kitchen Aid Attachments: Pasta Roller

And with this attachment, you can make your own fresh pasta.


  • Stainless-steel set includes pasta roller, fettuccine cutter, and linguine fine cutter
  • Fit all KitchenAid stand mixers
  • Clean with included wooden cleaning brush and toothpicks
  • Attachments measure approximately 9 by 3 inches
  • 1-year warranty; made in Italy



kitchenaid pasta maker attachment

Kitchen Aid Attachments: SNFGA Pasta Maker


  • Makes five different kinds of pasta
  • Use with any KitchenAid household stand mixer
  • Includes storage case, cleaning tool, and food grinder attachment
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • One-year full warranty


Mirro Stainless Steel Foley Food Mill 2Qt.

Click here to see a 2 QT Foley Food Mill


  • Heavy tin-plated steel
  • Rice potatoes
  • Has supports for resting on top of bowl or pot
  • About $20 - click on the links at left for current pricing


Mirro Stainless Steel Foley Food Mill 3 1/2Qt.

Click here for the 3.5 quart Foley food mill


See the seller's website for more information, features, pricing and user reviews!


jelly strainer at Amazon            

Jelly Strainer


  • Stainless steel
  • 7" Diameter x 9" Deep
  • Includes one filter bag
  • Legs bend to fit pot


Canning Jars

Canning jars delivered to your doorstep and guaranteed! Any size you need.  Click on the links below

Canning jars: quart (32 oz) jars

Canning jars: pint (16 oz) jars

Canning jars: 8 oz jars

Quilted Canning jars: 4 oz glass jars





8 oz canning jars shown below:

Quilted 4 oz jars below:


Canning books

Canning & Preserving for Dummies by Karen Ward

click here for more information, reviews, prices for Canning and Preserving For Dummies

The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes Paperback

This is THE book on canning!  My grandmother used this book when I was a child.  It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning vegetables, meats, etc.  If it can be canned, this book likely tells you how! Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no obligation to buy)

Click here for more information about the
Ball Blue Book of Preserving


Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving

by United States Dept. of Agriculture

This book is a compendium of the USDA's research and tested recipes.  It explains the scientific principles behind home canning , canning equipment, and the proper use of jars and lids. It is written by government folks, so it is pretty dry, but it is accurate. It includes recipes for fruit; tomatoes; vegetables; poultry, red meat, and seafood; fermented foods and vegetables; and jams and jellies and contains updates based on research in the last 20 years for canning safer and better quality food at home.

Food Preparation Equipment

Make the job faster and easier with these great tools!

Bean "frenchers"

It is tiring and laborious to prepare green beans for canning; there are so many of them and you do them all by hand.  But wait there's a new device that makes it easy.  Hmmm, actually, these devices have been around since our great-grandfather's day!  Here are several different types and makes, some hand fed, some cranked: choose the one that meets your need and budget!

For photos and features of the bean frenchers, click here!



More Canning Supplies


Lids, Rings and Jars




Need lids, rings and replacement jars? 

Get them all here, delivered direct to your home,  at the best prices on the internet!


Pectin, Pickle Mixes and Sauce/Salsa Mixes

Making Jam?  Need Pectin, but the local store is out?

Is your jam too runny? Pectin enables you to turn out perfectly set jam every time.  Made from natural apples, there are also low-sugar pectins that allow you  to reduce the sugar you add by almost half!

Get canning jars, rings, lids and pectin deliverd:


Pickling Mixes and Pickling Supplies


Whether you want dills or sweet pickles; canning them or straight into the refrigerator; there is a mix for every taste and need here!Get them all here, delivered direct to your home,  at the best prices on the internet! Get everything you need to make pickles: mixes, salt, brine, etc. here!



Sauce and Salsa Mixes

Get ready season mixes for tomato sauces and salsas here.  They make it simple to get it right every time!