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As you can guess, the Lakeland cherry and olive stoner is a stainless steel cherry and olive stone remover. It is supposed to remove the stones while leaving the cherry or olive in tact.
In effect it's a nifty hole punch with a small cup to hold the cherry or olive. The cup has a central hole through which the stone pops - or more accurately flies. The one downside of this gadget is that the stone is likely to ping across the kitchen floor!
It's 6 inches in length and although it only weighs just over 5 ounces, it feels sturdy. It has a black plastic grip on the top to stop your hand slipping. It does take a bit of practice to get used to it - sometimes you have to exert quite a bit of pressure to get the stone to pop out.
I bought it with a particular purpose in mind as I had a recipe which called for fresh stoned cherries. For cherries, it is much less messy than doing by hand but I have to confess it is one of the less well used items in my kitchen drawer!. I've had more success with cherries than olives - quite often the olives get damaged or split when I've used it.
It washes easily or you can put it in the dishwaster. For a keen cook or gadget lover, it's a nice tool to have.
The current Lakeland price is £7.59.
I had been looking for one of these cherry stoners for absolutely ages because I adore cherries, but I find them really messy to get the stone out of. Cherry stoners are surprisingly hard to come by and I eventually found this one in a cookware store in the Lake District of all places.
It cost me about four pounds, which is about average for a kitchen utensil of this type. I can't compare it to other stores because, like I said, I haven't actually seen one elsewhere. I generally think that these types of kitchen utensils are expensive for what they are, but then I suppose the idea they are a pretty specialised thing and not mass produced to the extent of things like knives and forks, so they have to be more expensive.
The cherry stoner is like a pair of tongs, but at the end, one side has a little dish with a hole in whilst the other has a little stick. You simply put the cherry in the dish and squeeze the two ends together and the stone should come out through the hole in the dish. The handle has little bumps in it to show you exactly how to hold it and to make it more comfortable to hold and easier to grip.
As simple as the product looks and sounds, there is a technique to using it to get the best results. You obviously have to remove the stem first and then sit the cherry in the dish so that the bit where the stem was is facing upwards. If you don't do this, I find that when you squeeze it together the stick slides along the side of the cherry, making a mess rather than pushing the stone out. I also find it easier to tip the cherries into a bowl first and then use the cherry stoner over the empty punnet to catch the stones. It is quite easy to direct them into the punnet to save mess, but occasionally one will shoot out in the opposite direction if you get a bit over zealous with the stoner. It also makes stoning cherries a lot quicker as soon as you get the technique down and I find that it takes me only a few minutes to prepare a punnet of cherries now.
The cherry stoner is very easy to clean because there are no awkward crevices to get into like some kitchen utensils have and it is dishwasher safe.
There are a couple of problems with the stoner. Firstly, you will occasionally get a cherry whose stone is to big to go through the hole in the dish. It stills works in this case, but it can actually hurt your hand if the stone gets stuck and the stoner slides to the side because your finger gets caught between the two prongs. This has only happened to me once, but it was enough to make me be more careful in future! There are no sharp edges on the stoner though (even the little stick is rounded) so no danger of cutting yourself.
The other problem is that it doesn't completely eliminate the mess. If you use the punnet to catch the stones as I suggested before, you can contain the mess, but since cherries are full of purply red juice, there is no fool proof method for keeping everything clean. Saying that though it stops me from getting the juice under my fingernails, which was what irritated me most before, so that is good.
The stoner can also be used to pit olives, but since I can't abide olives in any shape or form and have never used it for that, I can't comment on how effective it is. Although I'd imagine it would be much the same as I have described.
Overall I would recommend the cherry stoner as it does make things easier and a little bit cleaner, but be warned, they aren't easy to find and it isn't a miracle worker!
When I was complaining about the time it took to stone my daughter's cherries, my sister recommended this cherry stoner. My daughter likes to have cherries whole, but I worry she'll forget to spit out the stone and choke. We also have a lot of cherry trees locally, so I cook a lot of cherries, and don't want to be pulling stones out of my pie or my jam. So, I gave it a whirl.
The cherry stoner is a stainless steel, it looks and acts a bit like a stapler, but instead of staples there is a pointy pole, which as you squeeze the handles goes right through the fruit, depositing the stone below. I find I catch the stone in my other hand, and there is very little mess, but somehow when my son uses it it causes a lot of mess!
I was sceptical, but I do find that my cherry is basically whole after use... if any of us liked olives, I could easily use this to stone the olive ready for stuffing. All that happens is that the stone is removed.
We don't use olives, but I do like fresh dates, and I find the same happens with dates. Dates are bigger than either cherries or olives, and have a bigger stone, so the fruit sometimes does get crushed, but the stone is removed just as effectively. I imagine it would work perfectly fine on damsons or sloes as well, perfect for the autumn sloe gin!
As for cleaning, well, after first use I was somewhat worried about this, but I didn't need to be. It cleans like a dream, either by hand or in the dishwasher, and more than a year of heavy use after I first got it, there are no stains.
There's even a little plastic band which goes around the handles, keeping it tidy and safe in storage!
I am a huge fan of Lakeland products and am forever browsing the website and buying items for my kitchen. The problem with Lakeland kitchen products is that some of the things that look like they are going to be so handy when you look at them on the website in reality turn out to items that you use once and then hardly ever again.
The cherry and olive stoner is one of those items that I was convinced that I was going to use all the time when I bought it but in actual fact I have only used a few times.
The cherry and olive stoner certainly looks the part and is made of stainless steel and I personally love the look and think it would fit in with any modern sleek looking kitchen and it goes well with my other gadgets and gizmos. When looking at it you could be forgiven for thinking that the cherry and olive stoner was a nut cracker as that is pretty much what it looks like to me.
It is also really well made which I find is quite common with Lakeland products.
To use the stoner you just need to place the cherry or olive in the little scooped out area at the bottom of the stoner and then you just squeeze the both parts together which then moves the part which will remove the stone. The stoner works by removing the stone and leaving the cherry or olive pretty much intact. If they are soft then it will perhaps leave it a bit squashed but on the whole it does what it is supposed to.
I found that it took a little getting used to using the stoner as too much force when squeezing the parts together would result in the cherry or olive stone being thrown across the room. It isn't difficult to get the hang of but the problem that I have with the stoner is that there really is no use for it. It takes longer to try and remove the stone than it does to just pop a cherry or olive in your mouth and spit the stone out.
It isn't hugely expensive at £7.94 and it does make for a nice little gadget and I imagine it might be more handy if you were to bake a lot using cherries but for most people I think it is just going to be a gimmick and one that will quickly find a home at the back of your drawer with all your other uselss gadgets.
There are some who love their cooking and eating and amongst such people you tend to accumulate largely useless pieces of kitchenalia, some have very occasional use such as bread makers and some have the once used never touched again place in every kitchen. These tend to include ice cream makers, chocolate fondues etc and some very occasionally get put into the used when you have the food available and when used is useful before being sent back to the back of a drawer or cupboard.
This piece of kitchenalia comes into the latter category, if truth be told I wish I could afford to buy cherries every week but the finance impact of that would mean I'd have to take a second job so they get bought when in season and therefore cheaper or sometimes given by a friend with a large cherry tree. They are of the moment in terms of fruit as you know they won't last long but do come with a small but potentially deadly problem of the small little stone. Know we could all do the Laura Flynn Boyle trick in Twin Peaks who when given a pair of cherries on two stalks pops both in her mouth and gives them back to the man twisted in a knot with the stone in the middle but that kind of oral athletics also has different oral connotations.
So if you're not good with your tongue but don't want the inevitable cherry juice problem which spitting stones always creates as well as an irate grandmother when you spit stones onto her living room carpet (picky or what?) then you need a stoner! This is a stoner from Lakeland and works by a very simple force and pivot motion which pushes the stone through the cherry leaving the cherry stone free and the stone able to be dropped into a suitable container.
The stoner at first glance looks a little like some kind of medieval torture device designed for inflicting pain on a finger or tongue, it is a kind of hole puncher with a little cup in which the cherry sits. The other end of the puncher is a long trencher which is grooved and it punches through the cherry after application of the thumb on the top of the cherry stoner.
So you place the cherry in the little cup, put the trencher on top of the cherry apply a little force through the top bar of the stoner and the trencher will push through the cherry taking the stone with it as it exits the cherry. After use the cherry is de-stoned without the cherry itself being destroyed, the stone is in a small container appropriate for the use and the cherry can be eaten without too much cherry juice staining your fingers.
This is hardly an essential piece of kitchenalia but if you like eating cherries then it's useful because it takes the stone away from the cherry. They can be bought from Lakeland and other like minded shops for about seven pounds and make nice housewarming gifts or something similar, if only cherries were cheaper it would get more use!!
If you have read some of my previous reviews you will realise that, I love any kind of kitchen gadgets. I am always on the look out for something just a little bit different.
When last visiting Lakeland, which is one of my favourite shops, I could not resist the temptation and just had to buy, their version of a Cherry and Olive Stoner. As the name suggests this is a device which removes the stones from olives and cherries. The stoner is dishwasher safe.
The stoner is approximately six inches long and it is made of stainless steel. It has a small scoop at the bottom of it, on which the cherry or olive sits. You then simply squeeze the top and bottom parts together and the mechanism removes the stone, and the cherry or olive should be left intact, and minus the stone.
When I first used this device I wanted to stone some cherries for making jam. I found that, although the device removed the stone easily, and the quality of the cherry afterwards was very good, The stones bounced out of the device and landed on the table or the floor. I had expected each stone to drop onto the work surface I was using. So, although the stoner did remove all the stones from the cherries, it was very time consuming to then, have to find and pick up all the stones. At first I thought maybe I was being a bit heavy handed, but it did not make any difference, even when I was more light fingered with the stoner. I tried this little device on several more occassions but still had the same results.
Although disappointed with my cherry stoning, I decided to try again and use the stoner for some olives.
This was a complete disaster. Not only did the stones roll around everywhere, the olives were smashed to pieces. I must have tried stoning around twenty olives and had the same result with them all.
One other problem I found was with the catch at the back. It is used for locking and unlocking the stoner. I found it was quite loose and moved around too easily. Because of this the stoner tends to unlock by itself.
This is the first product I have bought from Lakeland, that I have been disappointed with. It will probably lie in the kitchen drawer unused from now on.
The stoner costs £7.49 and is only available from Lakeland.
Unfortunately it is not something I would recommend to my friends.