How can I efficiently take out the kern of olives if I don't have an olive pitter?

This task is particularly tedious when the olives are still firm.

Currently, I'm cutting them in four (see picture below) and tearing off the meat. But this quite a lot of work per olive and I tend to loose some meat.

green olive with markings of needed cuts

So, I'm wondering if there is a good hack to make my life easier?

4 Answers 4

  • Find a hairpin (the old fashioned sturdy metal ones are best).
  • Insert the U-shaped end at the stem end along the pit.
  • With a twisting motion, separate the pit from the flesh.
  • Either pull out the pit with the pin or push it out through the opening.

(Works for cherries too.)


When I want olives in food, I usually prefer them broken, so I simply squeeze the top and bottom of each olive between thumb and forefinger. Hydrostatic pressure fragments the olive, usually leaving pit fairly clean. It does require a firm grasp, and as you say, firm green olives tend to cling to the pit.


Could you cut the olive the short way to get rings, then pull them off the pit? (Like pizza olives)


yes. it is called a cherry pitter, which has a hand-operated plunger with a barbed tip on it that pushes the pit out the end of a cherry when you press the plunger down. since most cherries are larger than olives, you may have to experiment with the different brands of cherry pitter before you get one that works well with olives. they are sold in kitchen-gadget stores and country hardware stores.

  • 2
    Many pitters are labeled as cherry/olive pitters. Unripe olives do 'cling' to the stone making even a pitter difficult to work cleanly without complete removal of the 'meat' from the stone.
    – Stan
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 17:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.