What Does Pitted Cherries Mean? Your Ultimate Guide

Pitted cherries are a tasty and healthy fruit, but what does it mean for them to be “pitted?” This term can be confusing for many people, especially if they’re not familiar with the different types of cherries that exist. If you’re curious to learn more about this term and how it applies to cherries, keep reading! In this ultimate guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about pitted cherries, from what the term means to how to pit them yourself.

The Definition of Pitted Cherries

Before we dive in too deep, let’s start by defining exactly what “pitted cherries” means. In general, when something is “pitted,” it means that the pit, or seed, has been removed. In the case of cherries, this means that the hard, inedible pit has been removed from the center of the fruit. Pitted cherries will typically have a small indentation where the pit used to be.

Why Pit Cherries?

There are a few reasons why you might want to pit your cherries before eating or cooking with them. First and foremost, the pit is not edible and can be a choking hazard, especially for children. Additionally, some people find the pits to be unpleasant to bite into, as they’re quite hard and can have a bitter taste. Finally, if you’re cooking with cherries, removing the pits can make the process easier and prevent your final dish from being gritty.

How to Pit Cherries

If you’re dealing with fresh cherries and need to remove the pits, there are a few methods to consider. The first is to use a cherry pitter, which is a tool specifically designed for this purpose. A cherry pitter will typically have a small hole where you can insert the cherry, and a plunger that pushes the pit out the other side. This method can be quick and easy, especially if you have a lot of cherries to pit.

Another option is to pit your cherries by hand. To do this, start by washing your cherries and patting them dry. Then, hold the cherry with the stem side up and gently squeeze it between your fingers. The pit should pop out the bottom of the cherry. This method can be a bit slower than using a cherry pitter, but it works well in a pinch.

Using a Paper Clip to Pit Cherries

If you don’t have a cherry pitter and don’t want to pit cherries by hand, there’s another method you can try. All you need is a paper clip that’s been straightened out. Start by washing your cherries and patting them dry. Then, use the end of the paper clip to poke through the stem side of the cherry until you feel the pit. Once you’ve found the pit, use the paper clip to loosen it and then gently pull it out. This method takes a bit of practice, but it can be a useful skill to have if you enjoy cooking with fresh cherries.

What Are the Different Types of Pitted Cherries?

Now that we’ve covered the basics of pitted cherries, you might be wondering what types of cherries fall into this category. In general, any cherry can be pitted, regardless of the variety. However, there are a few types of cherries that are commonly pitted for eating and cooking. Here are three of the most popular:

  • Bing Cherries: Bing cherries are perhaps the most recognizable type of cherry, thanks to their deep red color and sweet flavor. They’re delicious for eating on their own and can also be used in a wide variety of recipes, both sweet and savory.
  • Rainier Cherries: Rainier cherries have a distinctive yellow and pink color and a sweeter, milder flavor than Bing cherries. They’re often used in desserts like pies and tarts, as well as in savory dishes like salads and sauces.
  • Montmorency Cherries: Montmorency cherries are tart, bright red cherries that are commonly used for baking and cooking. They’re often sold as dried cherries or as cherry juice, which is a popular ingredient in cocktails and smoothies.

What Can You Make with Pitted Cherries?

Now that you know how to pit your cherries, you might be wondering what to do with them! Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious recipes that feature pitted cherries as a key ingredient. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Cherry Pie: This classic dessert is a great way to showcase the flavor of fresh cherries. You can use a pre-made crust or make your own, and either way, it’s sure to be a hit.
  • Cherry Clafoutis: This French dessert is like a cross between a pancake and a custard. It’s easy to make and can be served for brunch or as a light dessert.
  • Cherry Jam: If you have a surplus of fresh cherries, consider making your own jam. It’s a great way to preserve the fruit and makes a delicious topping for toast, scones, or yogurt.
  • Cherry Salsa: For a twist on traditional salsa, try using pitted cherries instead of tomatoes. The sweet-tart flavor pairs well with spicy peppers and savory herbs.


Pitted cherries are a versatile and delicious ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of recipes. Hopefully, this guide has given you a better understanding of what the term “pitted” means and how to remove the pits from your cherries. Whether you’re a sweet or savory cook, there are plenty of ways to incorporate fresh cherries into your meals.

Common Questions About Pitted Cherries

  • What are the health benefits of cherries? Cherries are high in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health. They’re also a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
  • Can you eat cherry pits? No, cherry pits are not edible and can be a choking hazard. Always remove the pits before eating or cooking with fresh cherries.
  • Are frozen cherries pitted? Frozen cherries can be either pitted or unpitted, depending on the brand and variety. Always check the packaging before buying.


1. “Cherry Nutrition.” Choose Cherries, https://www.choosecherries.com/health-nutrition/.

2. “Tips for Pitting Cherries without a Pitter.” Epicurious, https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/tips-for-pitting-cherries-without-a-pitter-article.

3. “17 Cherry Recipes You Need to Make This Summer.” Bon Appetit, https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/how-to/article/pit-cherries.

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