Published May 1, 2011. From Cook's Illustrated.
Anyone who has ever made a dessert with fresh cherries knows that the most daunting task is the pitting.
A cherry pitter saves time, but not without risking mauled fruit and juice-stained countertops. To find out which pitter was both speedy and tidy, we tested four brands, from $15 to a whopping $260, all designed to pit multiple cherries at a time. At the high end, a mammoth machine that pits 10 cherries at once certainly processed a lot of fruit quickly, but its price seemed out of proportion unless you own a cherry orchard. We prefer the simpler (and much cheaper) Progressive International Cherry-It Pitter ($15), which looks like a stapler and pits four cherries at once. Unlike other tools we tried, this pitter is completely mess-free, keeping juice and stones contained in its plastic holder and leaving cherries more neatly pitted and intact than other models, which frequently got jammed, sprayed juice, and chewed up the fruit. Best of all, the whole shebang is dishwasher-safe.