Cherries are in full season, but my “season” started months ago. I undertook a project with 20 Valley Harvest Farms. I have been responsible for many things including designing unique recipes that highlight not only cherries, but whole food, local and Canadian ingredients (Professional Home Economists can be a great source for recipe writing!).
So with so many recipes to design, test and re-test I also indirectly tested out several ways to pit cherries for the average consumer.
I first tried home hacks and methods that required only household items. You can read that post here: Cherry Pitting: Home Hacks on Trial. Even though I am against having too many appliances and gadgets in the kitchen, I went looking for a possible way to get through pitting tons of cherries so I could focus on the recipes (especially when a test completely fails and I need to re-do it fast!).
So I research and find the single, stainless steel cherry pitter. One was at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $18.99. I also found the Starfrit Cherry Pitter. With the option of “6 cherries at once”, I was very interested. It was plastic so I was a bit hesitant, but with the price tag of $14.99 at my local Canadian Tire, I considered it for 3 weeks. (Now when you search during the season, a ton more pop up when searching online.)
After buying out of season cherries from Washington (USA), spending tons of money and losing lots of time for the other tasks I needed to complete for 20 Valley Harvest farm promotions, I bit the bullet and pulled out my wallet.
Did you know that the average recipe development cost charged to companies is about $350 PER RECIPE?! It’s not just the time, but the cost of ingredients, appliances and even energy – electricity for stoves, appliances – add to the cost of a recipe to be developed and tested.
Being frugal, I thought I’d attempt the Starfrit one since it was cheaper and the idea of doing 6 cherries at once compared to the traditional, one at a time, made me travel to Canadian Tire. When I asked, the employee didn’t even know where to find it and she said they must not carry it. I thanked her and noted her lack of confidence of an obviously, not well requested item. So I kept searching the aisle for my solution to my “bloody” cherry hell (I mean problem….). Well, low and behold, after searching inch by inch, there it was… quietly sitting there with no indication of how purposeful it really was.
So home I went, with a lighter wallet and a hope that this weird contraption was going to make my life easier.
So instead of just showing you photos of how it went, I thought I’d use my daughter to film a quick impromptu video of how the Starfrit Cherry Pitter works from beginning to end.
PHEc Tips to get the most out of this gadget:
The fresher the cherries, the more likely the pit will not stay attached to the tiny flap of skin.
Not just for pies, it’s a great way to make maraschino cherries for cocktails, garnishes and additions to salads.
A great tool if you are also going to dehydrate/dry these into cherraisins (I made up the word and pronounce it “sher-raisins” or “chair-raisins” – which do you prefer?).
Store with your canning gear and put away for the season, or with your colander for reminders when washing other fruits, berries and veggies.
Here’s what I think after testing out the Starfrit Cherry Pitter:
Easy to use – It has the same action as a stapler and a child can do it without help.
Dishwasher safe – It comes apart to clean all three parts and no handwashing required.
Quick – Less work and mess than home hacks, plus this type does 6 cherries at a time!
Easier than other pitters – For people that don’t have good hand and finger coordination (Ex: Persons with MS, arthritis, fibromyalgia, advanced or very young ages) – no balancing or strong grip required.
Compact – It stores flat with a small locking tab that keeps it flat for storage.
Encourages healthy eating – Mr R Ginger ate an entire bowl in 5 minutes when I offered him “some” since they were already pitted. I’m sure children and everyone in the family will do the same (we never got a chance 😉 ).
Cost is more than home hacks or commercially prepared ones
Space – You’ll need to store it somewhere when not in use.
Final Thought: Yes, I do recommend this item.
If you are picking cherries or making jam or pies, this is a great and healthy alternative to home hacks or commercially prepared with added sugar (10% for those buckets of pitted cherries seasonally available usually). This became my go to for my recipe testing. It has held up great under many dishwasher runs, two kids using it and the countless cherries sacrificed for 3 unique recipes designed by Nutrition Bites for 20 Valley Harvest Farms.
I’m not all for new gadgets, or spending money (frugal PHEc here!), but this saved me time and made it easier to enjoy cherries more this season. I’m happy to have it in my home, and I know next year I will be ready to pull it out. This cherry pitter is totally worth not looking like a red-handed, mass-murderer during cherry season when you are up for serving delicious pies, tarts, jams, salads and cakes quickly!
Note: All opinions are my own. This was not sponsored by Starfrit and I have not received any compensation or free items to recommend this product.