stringing chili ristras

Seems my chili peppers are ripening late this year. Last year the chilies started turning red in late July/early August. Good news is chilies will ripen off the vine. A great way to save space while they’re ripening is to create a chili ristra.


Creating a ristra is easy. Get a sewing needle and sturdy thread (some material other than cotton since cotton may weaken and break over time). You can also use a thin fishing line.

Sort your chilies into small, medium, and large sizes. Thread the needle with a string of thread double the estimated length of the ristra you’d like to create, plus 6″ or so. Match the ends of the thread and tie a double knot in the end to form a two-strand line.

Start stringing the tops of the larger chilies with the needle, progressing to the medium and smaller chilies last. Once all the chilies are threaded on the line, tie something at the end to create a hanging loop. I made a ring out of wire and tied it to the end of the thread for my hanger.

That’s it. I ended up hanging mine in a sunny kitchen window. These Goats’ Horn chilies are already starting to turn from green to red. Once they’re ripe I’ll finish drying in the dehydrator and save some whole for putting in chilies and other dishes that need a little heat. The rest I’ll grind for the pepper shaker.

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