Why Olive Pitters Are Almost Never Worth The Money

Some kitchen appliances make your life easier, while some are more trouble than they're worth. Tempting though they may sound, olive pitters fall into the latter category. They typically come in the form of a tool meant to pit both olives and cherries and while their guns may work well for uniform-size, round cherries, olives are a different story. 

These salty fruits can come in the form of big, round Castelvetranos, long, oval Cerignolas, and soft, wrinkly Nyons — all of which may not fit into an olive pitter perfectly. In addition, the pits are much tighter and closer to the inside of an olive, so the gun may not shoot through the flesh quite as easily.

But sometimes, it's necessary to remove that pesky pit. You don't want your guests to choke when you're serving foods with olives mixed in, and you'll need to remove the pit if you're going to chop the fruits up. So if you're making Greek-style seven-layer salad or Mediterranean baked stuffed eggplant, there are other effective ways to pit your olives with tools you already have.

Olive pitters may not work for different-sized olives

Pitting an olive (sans pitter) is easier than it sounds. Have you ever used the flat side of a knife to smash your garlic cloves before peeling? If so, you already know what to do with an olive. Once you smash your knife over it, the pit should pop free from the flesh, which you can wiggle out easily with your fingers. Some olives may even be tender enough to remove from the pit with just a slight pull. 

Another trick, which is essentially an olive pitter duplicate, is to use a beer bottle and a chopstick. You'll steady the olive on top of the bottle with your hands and push the chopstick through until the pit comes out the other end. This method may take some trial and error, but at least you won't be buying a new device.

It's worth noting that removing pits won't leave you with the most aesthetically pleasing olive halves. So if you're looking to present them on a charcuterie board, the best choice may be to just buy already-pitted ones. But if you're chopping them up, or mincing them even further for a tapenade or similar dip, feel free to smash away. You'll save money by not buying an olive pitter, and you won't even miss it.