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Olive / Cherry Pitters

Wednesday, 10 November 2010 | Tags: ,

For recipes like olive tapenade or cherry pie filling, you'll need to remove the pits from a lot of fruit. Not keen on using a knife and a lot of elbow grease? Well then, you guessed it, there's a gadget for that. We find out if these fruit pitters are worth their space in your kitchen cupboard.

The Basics

  • Choosing a pitter comes down to style, material, comfort, and the number of fruits you want to pit at once.

  • Most pitters do fruits one at a time, though there are some that can accommodate multiple fruits at once.

  • Be sure the pitter feels comfortable in your hand. Try it out at the store and imagine using it repeatedly. If you think your hand or wrist will get tired out with one design, try another.

  • The material can be an important purchasing factor. Stainless steel or chrome is sturdy and won’t rust, but they can be heavy. Plastic pitters are lightweight, but they may not last as long as metal.

  • Make sure your pitter is easy to clean. Dishwasher-safe is a big plus.

  • Some pitters have many parts to them. Are you going to be able to keep track of them all?

  • Consider how much space you have in your cupboard or drawer to devote to this gadget.

  • Other features to consider include:

    • Slip-proof handles

    • Locking mechanisms for compact storage

    • Pit- or fruit-catcher compartments

    • Slicing function

  • Since olives and cherries vary in size and shape, the pitter should be able to accommodate a wide range of sizes.

  • Look for a cup that is round and deep, but not too wide or your fruit might move off-centre when you’re trying to pit.

TEST CRITERIA

We needed to pit a whole lot of olives for a tapenade recipe, so tested a selection of pitters to see which would do the best job.

  • Progressive International Cherry-It Multiple Cherry Pitter (4 at once, multi-size tray, non-skid base, plastic): $19.99
. . Amazon.ca Amazon.com
  • Norpro Olive/Cherry Pitter (hole-punch style, metal): $15.99
. . Amazon.ca Amazon.com
  • Westmark Cherry Stoner (stapler style, ergonomic, cast-aluminum, lightweight): $14.99
. . Amazon.ca Amazon.com

(Note: prices listed above are approximate and in Canadian dollars)

     

Pitting Test

  • The Westmark ripped some of the olives a bit and left flesh on the pit. We felt this one would take the longest.

  • The Norpro had a nicer feel to it, as though the material was better quality than the Westmark. It had a deep bowl to hold the olive, although you need to position the fruit carefully. The pitting was nice and clean and the olives mostly stayed intact.

  • The multi-fruit Progressive International pitter tended to smush our olives, though Larry, our co-tester, preferred it. We think it would be best for cherries rather than olives.

OUR TOP PICK

Overall we preferred the Norpro hole-punch style pitter, though Anna decided that this is one gadget her kitchen can do without. She’s going to stick with her chef’s knife for any future pitting tasks.

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