Our friend Ehren asks:
Hello…I am roasting my first pig on the La Caja China #2 tomorrow and was looking for some tips. First off the hog I have is about 102lbs and the weather is suppose to only be 35* or so.
I am wondering would it be a good idea to allow some extra time for cooking and also because of the size of the hog should I put foil over the hams, shoulders etc. Any suggestions would be much appreciated and thanks for your time!… ~ Ehren
Thanks for your email! That’s a big pig you’ve got there, and 35 is pretty cool. I would definitely add 30-60 minutes into the plan for the possibility of a prolonged roasting time.
It’s a lot easier to keep the pig warm if it’s done early, than to asks your guests to wait. (Believe me, I know…lol).
A couple of tips…
Make sure your La Caja China is in a draft free area. Cold wind, especially under the box, can really drop the internal temp. It might not be a bad idea, with those low temps, to use a digital probe thermometer to track the internal temp of the box while roasting your whole pig.(<– See our step by step video on roasting a pig).
Cut a potato in half, around the middle, and push the thermometer all the way through, so at least an inch of the tip is exposed on the far side. Place the potato, cut side down, in the box, making sure that the probe isn’t touching anything. Run the thermometer wire under the nearest top-rail, and out of the box.
You want box temps of 225-250ish.
Second, be sure your pig is fully thawed and close to room temp (I usually leave in on a table for 2-4 hours before roasting.)
Lastly, yes…have some foil on hand, but don’t add it until necessary, as it really deflects a lot of heat. Then, just use pieces just big enough to cover the trouble spots but no more.
If you have questions during your roast, feel free to post them on my Facebook page, or text me at 503-831-8707
Good luck…let us know how it goes!
Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.