11 Uses for Cherry Stems and Pits. What to Do With Them

I think everybody loves cherries. I know I sure do, and because you’re here, I’m willing to bet you do too. Whether you are prepping a delicious homemade cherry pie, or getting them ready to dehydrate and turn into long-lasting and delectable snacks, one way or the other you’re going to wind up with a pile of leftover pits and stems…

holding cherry pits in hand

For most folks, those go straight into the garbage with nary a thought. But don’t be so hasty!

Turns out that cherry pits and cherry stems both are surprisingly useful, and recipes and for other more utilitarian things. I bet you’ll be surprised to find out what they are.

Keep reading and I’ll tell you about 11 of them…

Non-Recipe Uses

Cherry pits aren’t just useful in various recipes. They also have a wide variety of surprisingly utilitarian uses, perfect if you don’t care about any of the recipes above or if you have other needs to be taken care of.

cherry pit pot substrate

Pot Substrate

Cherry pits are mildly acidic, and knowing this we can re-purpose them as a substrate at the bottom of a pot for our house plant, or any other plant, in place of gravel to promote drainage.

The natural acidity of the pits will help keep any lingering water free of germs and other microorganisms that might suddenly take hold and in danger our plants at the roots.

The only trick is you’ll need to accumulate quite a load of cherry pits to make this a worthwhile strategy unless it’s just for an odd plant here or there. You will need a layer of 1-2 inches (3-4 centimeters) made entirely from cherry pits.

But if you harvest tons of cherries you’ll have no shortage of pits and this is the perfect way to repurpose them.

cherry pit stress ball

Stress Ball

At the end of the day, cherry pits are basically tiny beads, and so long as you clean them up well and let them dry out, they can be used as such safely.

If you stuff cherry pits inside of a thin gel ball and leave a little bit of room left over, you essentially have created a nice stress ball, one that has a simple, relaxing pleasure associated with its sound and texture when you squish it.

If you’ve got restless hands or just get bored sitting at your desk, this is the perfect desk toy to make from recycled materials.

filling cherry pit hot pad

Hot Pad

This is a method that earlier generations knew all about for alleviating cramps and other pains, or just for comfort on a chilly or lonely night.

Cherry pits, it turns out, are remarkably good at holding heat, and when you put a bunch of them in a cloth sack and then heat that up gently you can use it for warming up a cold bed.

sewing a cherry pit hot pad

This is really a simple project, and the perfect opportunity to customize and show off other skills you have like sewing, crochet and more. You can make them as big or as small as you like depending on your preferences or the preferences of the recipient, and they are infinitely reusable.

A safe and eco-friendly option compared to electric or chemical filled alternatives.

using cherry pits as fuel for a fire

BBQ/Stove Fuel

Another clever use for cherry pits is as a fuel for your barbecue grill, smoker or any other stove.

Cherry pits burn quite hot because of the oil content, and as you might imagine they also impart a truly wonderful aroma which you can enjoy in your home, at your campsite or as part of your favorite food.

If you’re using them in a traditional stove you can just burn them directly and enjoy. If you want to use them on a grill, especially a charcoal grill, or in a smoker make sure you create a small amount of them on top of the coals so they will smolder; don’t bury them.

This is one of my favorite ways to reduce waste and also get more use out of those cherry pits. Check it out here.

Compost Additive

As you might imagine, cherry pits are compostable…

Being organic matter they will break down just like anything else you would put in your compost pile, and they’re also full of various nutrients and compounds that can improve the overall health of the resulting compost.

But there’s a trick to it: you never want to throw whole cherry pits in your compost pile because not only will they take forever to decompose that way but there’s also a non-zero chance they will sprout into a cherry tree!

Instead, take the time to completely grind and crush them up into a coarse meal. This will prevent them from growing and also help them decompose much quicker.

Just add them to your pile and turn it as normal. Learn more here.

Cherry Stem Herbal Bath

Cherry stems can be used, along with other ingredients, to make a relaxing herbal bath. Not only does it smell great and will help you unwind, but it will do wonders for your skin and some folks even swear it helps with aches and pains.

The most basic recipe uses a few big handfuls of dried cherry stems, cold steeped in water, and then adds cinnamon sticks and linden leaves, but there are other variations.

A relaxing use for sure. Find out how to make it here.


Believe it or not, cherry pits and cherry stems are both useful as ingredients in their very own recipes. No kidding! Check out the following.

Cherry Whipping Cream

Cherries seem truly destined for going into all kinds of desserts, from pies and cobblers to ice cream, preserves (including canning) switchel, and a lot more. And for hot desserts especially, a dollop of whipped cream will truly complete it.

But you know what could make a perfect cherry pie even more mouth watering? How about some cherry whipped cream!

Now, I’m not talking about that artificially-flavored chemical laden nonsense that comes out of the grocery. I’m talking about cherry-infused whipped cream- that you made yourself.

Cold steeped, delicate and alluringly aromatic this is so easy to make you will truly mourn the days you lived without it.

So good you won’t believe it is real. Get the recipe here.

Cherry Pit Vinegar

One of the most interesting and certainly the most versatile recipes using cherry pits on my list here, cherry pit vinegar is tangy, fragrant and ever so slightly sweet.

And it’s also a cinch to make. In fact, if you are a “rough pitter” and hew your pits out of the cherries with lots of flesh left attached, you are in luck because that will make this recipe even better. Perfect for speed demons or people who just can’t be bothered to be careful.

The best part about this recipe is that you can use it for sweet and savory dishes alike, and it works wonderfully as the basis for a homemade salad dressing or you can use it to flavor beverages.

I’ve heard some folks even have good success incorporating it into soda syrup and then carbonating it.

Tangy, intriguing and a wonderful way to spice up your usual recipes. Check it out here.

Cherry Pit Syrup

Some of my very favorite foods are pancakes, waffles, english muffins and other breakfast breads. Crusty, warm and savory, give it a pack of butter and a generous shot of syrup and I am halfway to heaven.

If you’re anything like me, and I know you are if you’ve come this far, you already know that fruit-flavored syrups can take any of these foods to the next level.

Blueberry syrup, naturally, is a perennial favorite but real deal cherry syrup leaves even that legendary favorite in the dust, and brings a tartness to these breakfast foods that changes their character entirely.

Even better, it has an almost indescribable nutty taste that makes them even more savory. Make this one time and I promise you you’ll have a special jar just for those cherry pits in the future.

Learn to make it with this recipe.

Cherry Pit Liqueur

If you enjoy cooking with various alcohols or you just like to sip on a cocktail or a glass of your favorite spirit, this recipe is for you. You can make cherry pit liqueur easily using a variety of alcohols as a base. All you need is that, and glass jar or decanter, and some patience.

Simply let your cherry pits sit in the alcohol for about 3 weeks, or longer for more flavor, and then strain them out and that’s all there is to it.

You can add other ingredients too for additional flavor, and the end result will of course be different depending on the base alcohol that you use.

Believe me, this stuff is truly wonderful and cocktails! Learn to make your own here.

Cherry Stem Tea

Cherry Stem Tea benefits & recipe | Did you know? #shorts

A truly surprising recipe, and one that I had no idea existed until recently, cherry stem tea not only taste great but it has a tremendous amount of nutrients that can give you a little bit of pep in your step.

All you need to do is dry out the cherry stems for a few days at room temperature, or you can speed things up by popping them in the dehydrator. The stems can then be ground into powder or used as is, steeped as you would tea or other herbs.

I like this as an alternative to my own usual Earl Gray, and you can use cherry stems as an ingredient in your own herbal blend or by themselves to make a tasty, hot cup of tea. The hardest part is simply remembering not to throw the stems away!

cherry pits pin

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