I think there are few eating pleasures of summer better than fresh cherries. The rich, red color. The sweet, but not cloying, flavor. The excess of juices running down your chin…cherries are one of my favorite “raw” foods to eat. I have no problem just popping them in my mouth and spitting the seeds with varying degrees of velocity into the bowl in front of me. The fairer members of my household find this practice…less than appropriate. That’s where a cherry pitter come in. Last summer we were visiting some friends when their girls got out a big bowl of cherries and a cherry pitter. Our daughter was fascinated watching their girls pit the cherries with ease, and we all enjoyed sharing the fresh cherries. Later, I began looking for one of these devices. When I saw the OXO Good Grips Cherry Pitter on Amazon, I just had to try it. Any kitchen gadget with a 4.5 star rating from 100+ reviewers is definitely worth a try in my book.
We’ve been using it for about 9 months now, and up until last week have been really pleased with it. It does what it is supposed to do really well; that is, remove the cherry pits. You have to line the cherry up properly in the pitter (we’ve found it works best with the cherry upside down in the pitting chamber), but once you figure out how, you get reliable pitting 80% to 90% of the time. The only negative was that we found the device had a propensity to spray cherry juice in a circle around the sprayer if the clear pit chamber wasn’t firmly pressed onto a hard surface, like a kitchen plate. This was only a minor nuisance, as it was easy to adapt to (although, sadly, it completely ruined my vision for competitive cherry pit launching contests in our back yard). Even more importantly, this can easily and safely be operated by our four year old daughter (with a word of caution each time from Mom or Dad not to get her fingers pinched in the hinge mechanism). So, overall I would give this product a nine on a scale of ten. It does what it is supposed to with only minor tweaks needed from the operator.
Unfortunately, last week I discovered that the plastic body near the hinge is beginning to crack. I expect this after five years or more of regular use, not after nine months and less than a dozen washings in the top rack of the dishwasher. Our other OXO Good Grips products have proven to be far sturdier and last for years, so I am really surprised and disappointed by this. We’ll continue to use the pitter until it breaks entirely, at which point we’ll replace it. I’m not sure I’ll get another of this model. Perhaps the Progressive International GPC-5000 Cherry-It Multiple Cherry Pitter (pictured below), which can pit four cherries at one time and seems built to better contain the flying juices on the other end, will be our replacement…? If so, I’ll post a review here.