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Feb 2, 2007 01:41 PM

Olive pitter recommendations?

I need to get an olive pitter. What do I look for? What style? What brand?

And in the meantime, what do I do to get the pits out of the big green Sicilian olives I bought so I can put them in a pasta dish?

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  1. Do you need them whole? If they're chopped, it's simple - smash the olive with the flat of a large chef's knife, and pull the pit out.

    If you need them whole and pitted... I suggest you go back to the store and see if they have pitted ones.

    1. I was hoping for sliced, but if I have to have them chopped, I suppose it will work. I can't go back to the store because it's in Des Moines, more than 100 miles from here. And I actually looked for sliced ones but this was all they had.

      1 Reply
      1. re: revsharkie

        Sliced should be fine... just be a little more careful when you smash it, then do one long vertical slit, and the pit should slide out. Then you can just slice rather than chop.

      2. Are you looking for one that pits one olive at a time or several. I have the one at the time type from Williams Sonoma. I like pit cherries as well so it is the one exception to my no useless kitchen gadget rule. The feature I like best is the do hicky that releases the pitter should it get stuck.

        1. Turn a funnel upside-down. Place the wide end of your funnel on a counter. Take an olive, center it over the funnel's hole, and push down. Depending on the size of the funnel and the olive, you can either push the olive all the way down so that you end up with a cylindrical hole all the way through, or you can push 3/4 of the way down and pull back up, leaving the olive pits and innards stuck in the funnel-hole (or on your counter) and a hollowed-out olive with one end intact.

          1. I have a plunger-type cherry pitter similar to (

            Because of the shape of an olive pit, you still have to hold the olive so that the plunger strikes the pit lengthwise, otherwise it gets stuck in the hole. Aside from this little quirk, it is much faster and less messy than using a knife or hand pitter.