There are many ways to dry peppers such as dehydration, toasting in an oven at low temperatures or by stringing on a ristra. The latter method is not only a wonderful way to dry your peppers, but it also makes for an appealing home decor. It's especially easier to dry if you live in an arid environment.
A ristra is nothing more than a long strand of chiles hung outside. To begin stringing a ristra, take a cluster of three peppers and loop the cotton string around the stems two to three times. Then take the string and bring it up between two of the chiles. Create a half-hitch (an overhand knot).
After you have created a half-hitch knot, pull it securely. Move along the string, adding clusters of three peppers at a time. Try to space your peppers at least three to four inches apart.
If your string gets too knotted up, simply cut and tie the string. Begin with a new string.
When you have created the desired length of your ristra, braid the end of string around either wire or twine. Twist (braid) the peppers around your twine, trying to ensure that the chiles are spread evenly around the twine.
- Hang your ristras outside in a dry place, not inside. If any of your chiles begin to rot, they can drip a liquid that can stain carpets or furniture. If you live in an environment that is too humid, the ristra method may not work as the humidity can damage and rot your peppers. It's necessary to have a dry place with plenty of air circulation.
- Use gloves (such as latex or dish gloves) when working with cayenne peppers. If you rub your eyes after working with the peppers, you will likely irritate your eyes.