By: Perry P. Perkins
La Caja China can make an awesome whole pig roast, this we know. However, there are a few tips and tricks that you can incorporate into your roasting adventure to insure that you’re letting the box be all it can be…
Whole Pig Roast Step #1
Make sure that your pig is completely thawed. You want the pig to be as close to room temp as you’re comfortable with, before you start cooking.
Have you ever thrown a bunch of cold food into a hot pan? What happens? Everything cools down, and then has to come back up to cooking temp! It’s exactly the same with your La Caja China. Maximize your cooking time and briquettes by putting the pig in the box ready-to-cook.
Whole Pig Roast Step #2
Start with as much coal as the instructions say. The Guerra’s built these boxes based on extensive study and testing (and a whole lotta charcoal), and the roasters have to reach a specific “sweet spot” to then maintain a consistent internal temperature, and work their four-hour magic.
I’ve used 10lbs instead of 15lbs of coal, and the box didn’t come to cooking temp for a long time. (6 ½ hours to roast that pig!)
It’s really a very scientific design, and the instructions need to be followed pretty closely to get the desired results. BTW – A standard Weber charcoal chimney holds almost exactly 7lbs of Kingsford briquettes.
Whole Pig Roast Step #3
Overcome the desire to check your whole pig roast during cooking. La Caja China is designed to not be opened at all, except to flip the pig, and it really messes up the cooking time when we take unnecessary peeks.
Trust your handy-dandy probe thermometer to tell you when the whole pig roast is perfect, and no peeking! For more detailed instructions, check out this Whole Pig with a Wired Thermometer Worksheet on La Caja China’s website.
I even use a large metal dust-pan to remove excess ashes, so I don’t have to lift the lid off to do so. If you don’t have you’re thermometer with you at your next roast, don’t sweat it. I’ve cooked a 90lb pig to perfection, by simply following the instructions printed on the end of the box. It really is that easy!
You can even cook almost everything from vegetables, chickens, turkeys, lambs and one whole pig! So, try these tips at your next La Caja China whole pig roast, and I promise…you’ll taste the difference!