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cherry pitting

 
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any efficient cherry pitting techniques / tools?

i have a grove of mature sweet cherry volunteers that are super tasty & disease resistant (ironically, all the grafted cherry tree plantings get close to 100% brown rot each spring).  however, as volunteers, they produce pretty small fruit.  it's a *huge* bounty, but takes a lot of time to pit the cherries.

we have an old cast iron pitter, and i've looked at some newer pitting machines, but the fastest & surest way (to miss to pits) still seems to be by hand...and that, my friends, is not too quick either.

any suggestions?

thanks!
 
pollinator
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Location: Central Indiana
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Are you looking to simply pit them and have what looks like whole cherries afterward or if said machine broke them down to remove the pits but you were left with more like ground cherries on one side and pits on the other would that be acceptable?  Guess i need to know what your final product is.
 
Josh Willis
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Oh, just pulped cherries is fine!  I'll be cooking them up afterwards.  (they are way too small to keep for any fancy looking purpose, anyways).

Jonathan Ward wrote:Are you looking to simply pit them and have what looks like whole cherries afterward or if said machine broke them down to remove the pits but you were left with more like ground cherries on one side and pits on the other would that be acceptable?  Guess i need to know what your final product is.

 
Jonathan Ward
pollinator
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you mention a cast iron pitter...do you mean pitter or a stoner?  Does it have the blade type wheel in the middle of the hopper with groved spirals on the wheel?  If not, i'd see about investing in one...They're a little hard to find.  My dad has one and uses it every year on his small sour cherries.  Works like a champ...he ususally gets 2-3 stones per gallon in the wrong section but if you're paying attention they're easy enough to spot.
 
pollinator
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I 3D printed a cherry pitter that works well. If the pits are smaller than normal you could resize the model to fit better: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2360035
 
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Location: Tampa, Florida
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Nice! It's amazing what you can do with 3D printers nowadays.
 
steward
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For several much much lower tech options...



I like the bottle and chopstick method best. The others would be quite awkward for me. But, just in case you can't find a bottle with a small enough neck...




And if you're really talented (unlike me) you can fashion a wooden palm sized handle to further reduce hand fatigue. Tada!
 
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I have one of these and it's fantastic: https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/oxo-olive-and-cherry-pitter/



It's not that particular brand, but the design is the same. It cost around $15 and has saved me so much time!

If you hold it over a cup and press down on the cherry, the pit is pushed out the bottom and any juice/mess is contained.
 
Josh Willis
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Oh, I guess I mean a stoner!  It is indeed a blade type wheel with grooved spirals...I believe we have both a '4 leg' type and a 'clamp' type.  But my little cherries are so small, I'd say the stoner only gets 75% of the pits.  It does make a terrific mess though

I haven't tried the clamp type for a while, though, will try it again based on your Dad's experience.  We have several similar devices for apple peeling, they are amazing!  Half the fun of making a pie is using the peeler.

Jonathan Ward wrote:you mention a cast iron pitter...do you mean pitter or a stoner?  Does it have the blade type wheel in the middle of the hopper with groved spirals on the wheel?  If not, i'd see about investing in one...They're a little hard to find.  My dad has one and uses it every year on his small sour cherries.  Works like a champ...he ususally gets 2-3 stones per gallon in the wrong section but if you're paying attention they're easy enough to spot.

 
Josh Willis
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I'd come across that too, I love it as a low tech solution!  Still not much faster than hand pitting for me, though.

I think I'm looking for a factory pitter / stoner... ha!

Joylynn Hardesty wrote:For several much much lower tech options...



I like the bottle and chopstick method best. The others would be quite awkward for me. But, just in case you can't find a bottle with a small enough neck...




And if you're really talented (unlike me) you can fashion a wooden palm sized handle to further reduce hand fatigue. Tada!

 
pollinator
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I've used this cherry pitter

a couple years in a row now and am pretty happy with it.  If you're processing any decent amount of cherries, doing it one at a time is insane as far as I'm concerned.  

This one I have definitely isn't perfect, but once you get a rhythm going and learn its limitations, it's fine.  You sometimes have to nudge the cherries from the hopper under the plunger.  Occasionally a pit will jam under the plunger, but this usually only happens if you're trying to go too fast. It misses the odd pit, but you can usually feel if the machine hasn't worked properly and pick the cherry out and back into the hopper right away. The cherries it misses look obviously different from the properly pitted ones, as well.  Do a quick visual check of the ones on top of the bowl, watch as you slowly pour the pitted cherries into whatever you're storing/using them in, and another quick surface check after.  I did 40lbs of cherries last year and only 2 or 3 pits made it through my checks.  The machine's cheap enough to try out and see if you like the style anyway.
 
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