It's not pretty.
Four jars of ugly, science-fiction-ugly chili, preserved in a pressure canner.
Oh, and the recipe was ugly too; we got it from the instruction manual that came with the pressure cooker.
OK, yes, it's just really an ordinary pressure cooker, but it has a tray that fits in the bottom, and there's a handle to lift it (and the hot jars) out with when it's time. It will hold four pint jars without touching.
I don't pressure-cook food much (though maybe I will try more now that we have this six-quart jobbie). The cool thing is that the instruction manual has a section on pressure canning, with this ugly recipe.
It's like diner chili. Soupy, bland, heavy on the tomatoes. We didn't dare vary from the proportions (except to spice it up a lot), for fear of botulism.
But! It cooks at 240ºF for 90 minutes! An hour and a half.
And after you take the jars out, they continue to bubble of their own accord for another two hours. I figure they ain't nothin' in there gonna kill me. Boiled the germs to death, more than the temperature of boiling.
Now, this is the silly part: I have never canned food before. Not jam, not tomatoes, not any of the easy water-bath things that are generally safe. I wasn't scared of poisoning myself; I was scared of... I don't know, doing it wrong? Explosions? And I'm really not all that fond of jam. Tomato sauce I can keep in the freezer. So yeah, I'd never done it before.
Then we get this new pressure cooker, and the first thing I preserve in it is MEAT. Ris-kay! But I'm not scared.
The only problem is that I want to open one of the jars right away and see how it came out.
The seals haven't even pinged yet; the jars are still hot. Nope, I'm not going to open them.
I've got a shelf picked out in plain sight (not a pantry, not a closet — a bookshelf) where I'm going to store these babies until it's cold enough to eat chili.