Home Cooking 6

La Caja China - Tremendous Success

Deenso | Jul 9, 200502:35 PM

I promised to report back after our pig roast and let you know if the Caja China was all it was cracked up to be. And the answer is: yes, absolutely!

We ordered model #1, which accommodates a pig up to 70 pounds. The shipment came in 2 boxes and putting together took the two of us about an hour and a half. No special equipment is supposed to be necessary, but a couple of the pre-drilled holes didn't match up. Fortunately, we had an electric drill and there was no problem.

Our pig weighed 66 pounds. The butcher butterflied it, cleaned it, removed the head and brined it overnight for us. Then we followed the cooking directions to the letter, including their recipe for sour orange and garlic marinade. The marinade gets combined with more salt brine and injected into the underside of the pig. Then it goes into a rack, skin side down, and is placed into the box, which is entirely lined in metal. A lid goes over that, then a screen and the coals.

From starting the fire to sitting down to eat the finished product, approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes elapsed. What an amazing difference from our old way with a rented rotisserie unit! We'd get up at 4:00 in the morning, start the fire, put the whole beast on a spit and wire it securely, then tend it constantly from 5:00 a.m. for the next 8 hours! The only time the Caja China was opened was about 3 and a half hours after we started, when the butterflied pig was lifted out and turned over and the skin was slit all over. Then it went back in, the coals back over and we ended up with this amazingly beautiful thing! The meat was incredibly succulent and tender and the skin was completely toast brown and crisp.

I can't wait to try it again. You can roast anything in it and I'm thinking - oh,I don't know - maybe a kid? Several pork shoulders? A couple of racks of ribs?

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