Category Archives: Hardware, Accessories & Add Ons

Amazing way to Grill a BUNCH of Shrimp Quick & Easy

Easy Grilled Shrimp



So, I needed to grill up a whole mess of shrimp appetizers (recipe below) for a cook-out yesterday. While shopping I found these kabob baskets on a clearance shelf fro $3 each (normally about $10 for a set of two on Amazon), and had an epiphany.

What I don’t like about grilling shrimp kabobs:

It takes up a lot of grill space.

  • You’re constantly turning and keeping an eye on a lot of individual pieces of shrimp.
  • I always forget to soak my skewers long enough.
  • Served on the skewer (the way I like) can leave for sooty fingers, which my clients aren’t wild about.

What I like about shrimp kabobs:

  • They’re awesome.
  • They’re easy to eat.
  • They help with portion control (ie: everyone gets some, without breaking the bank on shrimp gluttons!)

So, I had a thought…what if I grilled up a bunch of these beauties at a time, and THEN added them to the skewers for serving. Problem: now instead of a dozen or two skewers to keep track ff, I have a couple of hundred individual shrimp to keep turning and moving…and quickly! Shrimp will overcook or burn quicker than it takes to say, “Oh, S***!” Especially when marinated with an oil or alcohol base.

The solution? The kabob basket!

Kabob basket for grilling shrimp

I loaded 40 large shrimp per basket, set them on the grill, and cooked about 2 minutes per side, flipping baskets (40 servings at a time) just three time each.

The best way to grill a lot of shrimp

Photo by Kristen Renner

Open the baskets, a quick flip of the wrist, and all the shrimp were in the bowl ready to skewer!

Grilling shrimp with a kabob basket

Photo by Kristen Renner

The result? Enough appetizers to keep the whole crowd happy, in less than 20 minutes, AND I was able to work on other dishes at the same time!



Then, just pop a couple of the en of each clean skewer, spritz with some lemon juice, and sprinkle the whole platter with chopped parsley.

I will NEVER grill shrimp any other way again!

Chef Perry

If you like what I’m posting, please share! If you love what I’m posting, and want to help me feed the hungry, and teach at-risk and special needs kids to cook for themselves, please consider becoming a patron at my Patreon page!

Shrimp Salmoriglio
Serves 40 (2 skewers each)

  • 1/2 cup salted capers
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 6 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • Coarse ground black pepper
  • 150 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice for spritzing
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, minced

On a cutting board, finely chop the drained capers with the oregano leaves and garlic. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, along with the lemon zest and lemon juice. Season the sauce with pepper.

Place shrimp in a large zip bag, pour in the marinade, seals and toss to coat. Let rest in the fridge 2-8 hours.

1 hours before grilling, remove from fridge and let sit on counter.

Light a grill, coals, etc

Drain the shrimp, and load as many as will fit into each kabob box, without packing them too tightly. Close the box.

Grill over high heat, turning once per side, until the shrimp are lightly charred and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

Remove the shrimp from the box and transfer them to a platter (or a bowl, if you’re going to skewer them, 2-3 per skewer). Sprinkle more pepper on on top (optional), a healthy handful of minced parsley, and serve.

Home Chef Note: You could easily change this up to a great “South of the Border” version, by swapping the capers an basil for chili powder and minced jalapenos, limes for the lemons, and cilantro instead of parsley!

Mexican grilled shrimp

 

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La Caja China Guidebook: Free eBook

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La Caja China, for all the pig-related press, is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment I’ve used in a lifetime of cooking and barbecue

With it, we can prepare everything from holiday dinners like St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and Thanksgiving turkey; ethnic delights like Malaysian Satays and Italian porchetta sandwiches, to Kalua pig and Moroccan lamb. We can grill steaks, braise chickens, and roast prime-rib that rivals any restaurant, and do it all in our own backyard…or yours!

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And, of course, we can roast melt-in-your-mouth whole pigs (see the video) that send our guests into fits of gastronomical joy.

Even more importantly, we can prepare these dishes for crowds that would normally require a smoke house, a four-foot deep pit dug in my yard, multiple gas grills, or several full-size ovens. Not only that, but we can do it anywhere, anytime!

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Got questions about brining & injecting, best ways to deal with hot (or cold) weather cooking, the little secrets chefs use to get next-level results?

This free La Caja China Guidebook is your window into the best assembly and preparation tips, and 5 years of chef tested techniques for cooking and serving your pig, lamb, turkeys and pork shoulders, as well as delicious grilling and side recipes.

I love food, I love cooking, and I love La Caja China…and I want to share that love with you.

Please consider me your personal chef “hotline” for anything you want to cook in, or on, your magic box!

Enjoy!

Chef Perry
La Caja China Cooking

Here are some of my most popular “how to” ideas and work-arounds that I’ve come up with in nearly four-years of frequent cooking with La Caja China…just click on this cover to download your free PDF version of  my La Caja China Guidebook

Caja China GuidebookLa Caja China Guidebook
Tips and tricks for getting the most from your Magic Box!

If you’re looking for great recipes for cooking on your “magic box”, check out my cookbooks La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, La Caja China Party! available in paperback and Kindle eBook on Amazon.com at:

www.perryperkinsbooks.com

 

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you enjoy our recipes, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.

 

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Easy smoking in La Caja China – A-MAZE-N-PELLET-SMOKER review.

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Every once in a great while you come across a cooking/bbq add-on that is everything a good accessory should be…simple to use (read: idiot proof) and simple to maintain, making the job at hand less (not more) complicated.

Something that’s 100% effective.

Something that truly lives up to its own marketing hype.

This weekend I found just such a product – the “New” A-MAZE-N-PELLET-SMOKER (AMNPS) by A-MAZE-N-PRODUCTS.

First, a little background…

I already own two models of “smoke units” for my various smokers, grills, and La Caja Chinas.

Each is basically effective, in that it imparts a good smoke flavor to the meat that’s cooking. The first is attractively priced at around $50, but very complicated to use, has a major learning curve, and requires the use a proprietary pellet “cartridge” to use. The second is less complicated, allows for non-proprietary pellets/chips, but is 8X more expensive as the first.

Both require an electrical plug in.

http://i0.wp.com/burninlovebbq.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/post2.jpg?resize=262%2C196Now, I can complicate a whole pig roast (see my step-by-step video) with just a pig and fire…without tossing in a, sometimes moody, smoke gadget. When it comes to bbq, I’m definitely more Fred Flintstone than James Bond. I want something that’s a no brainer, I want it to be something I don’t have to make a special plan for (I do a lot of cooking in campgrounds, in the mountains, and at the beach, where electricity can be problematic), and I don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to get it.

Finally…I’ve found something that fits all of my requirements, and requires no “Mods” or drilling of holes in my La Caja China.

The AMNPS is a light weight, durable and portable smoke generator designed to burn pellets or sawdust. The new AMNPS will produce smoke during cold smoking and hot smoking, tested up to 275°. They are versatile enough to be used in just about any smoker or a grill.

At less than fifty-bucks, with no moving parts, no electricity required, and no “special needs”, the AMNPS is built to perform flawlessly for the biggest idiot around…and this weekend it did just that in my La Caja China Semi Pro, at our annual church camp-out and pig roast!

I left the two end rails off my La Caja China for airflow (this creates a ¼ inch gap at either end) and set the smoker on a small piece of foil, directly on top of, and centered on, the pig rack. I used a mix of apple and alder wood pellets, filling the channels of the AMNPS about 2/3 of the way up…lit the pellets with a torch, though a small hole in the end of the smoker, and closed up the La Caja China.  That’s it!

Literally, if you can open a bag of pellets, and light a propane torch…you have mastered all of the skills required to use the A-MAZE-N-PELLET-SMOKER.

Note: It took me a while but the “MAZE” in “A-MAZE-N”…it’s a maze…get it? I told you it was idiot proof!

So, my only concern was that the heat from the underside of La Caja China’s coal pan would be intense enough to get all of the pellets smoking at one time, which would defeat the purpose of a long, slow smoke. My worry was for naught…I peeked at around 2.5 hours (I know, I know, I always say “no peeking” but these were special circumstances!) and the AMNPS had run about ½ the course. I checked again at 5.5 hours and it had burned to the end.

So it works…you don’t have to peek for yourself. Rule #1 – No Peeking!

The mix of pellets gave a perfect subtly sweet/smoky flavor to our 85lb pig, creating a beautiful 1/2 to 3/4 inch “smoke ring” on the shoulders and hams. In fact, my pastor, who’s also a foodie and bbq junkie, took one look at the pellet smoker, and spent the rest of the weekend trying to talk me out of it!

I doubt I’ll ever use either of my other “smoke units” again…I’m totally sold out on the AMNPS. I’ll be updating the “smoking” recommendations in all of our cookbooks in the next few weeks, to recommend this pellet smoker…that’s how serious I am about it.

If you have a La Caja China, another brand of pig roasting box, or any smoker or grill that requires a smoking accessory, you need an A-MAZE-N-PELLET-SMOKER.

Tell ’em Perry sent you!

Okay, I gotta go eat some leftover pig now.

Happy Q’ing!

-Chef Perry

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La Caja China’s Upcoming “Whole Hog” Rotisserie

 

Pretty excited about this”whole hog” rotisserie from La Caja China! Available as an accessory for the holidays.

I see Filipino-style lechon in my future!

Chef Perry
La Caja China Cooking
La Caja China World
La Caja China Party (10/2015)
joinmykitchen.com

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by | September 25, 2015 · 6:43 AM

chatchow interview with Roberto Guerra of La Caja China

Fantastic interview with Roberto Guerra, creator of La Caja China roasting boxes! Pizza stones…are you freakin’ kidding me? CAN’T WAIT!

Roberto Guerra / La Caja China from Giovanny Gutierrez on Vimeo.

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La Caja China SP-150S 100 lbs Roaster

Hey all,

If you’ve been struggling to decide between the cost-savings of the La Caja China Model #2, and the sheer awesomeness  of the La Caja China Semi-Pro…the guy at LCC have come up with the perfect compromise, just for you…

SP-150S 100 lbs Roaster

This new model has all the same distinct capabilities as the SP-300 but with less weight (125lbs vs. 165lbs) and less money ($599.00 vs. $1,250.00) diamond-cut metal exterior, steel angle legs with powder coating paint and bolt mounted handles.

Check it out!

-Perry

Perry P. Perkins comes from a long line of professional chefs. As a third generation gourmand, he focuses his love of cooking on bar-b-que, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine. Perry has written for hundreds of magazines, everything from Writer’s Digest and Guideposts, to American Hunter and Bassmaster Magazine.

His writing includes the cookbooks, La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, and MEAT FIRE GOOD,  the novels Just Past Oysterville, and Shoalwater Voices, and his new humor collection, Elk Hunters Don’t Cry.

Perry’s books are available on Amazon at www.perryperkinsbooks.com. 

 

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La Caja China – Questions before I buy

Out Burnin’ Love BBQ friend Josh is considering adding a La Caja China to his cooking arsenal, and posed some excellent questions. I’m re-posting them, along with my answers, for anyone else who’s thinking of picking up a magic box.

Josh: I’ve been debating the merits of La Caja China for a couple months now (my wife is sick of me talking about it!!). I think the only way I can justify the purchase (to my wife) is if I can use it to cook ribs, briskets, pork butts, and maybe even mass quantities of burgers. As such, I have the following questions that I hope you’ll be willing to help me with.

Perry: Hey Josh, I hear you…I think my wife’s final word on the subject was along the lines of, “Just buy the freakin’ thing already!” LOL

Josh: Have you used the smoke pistol that the La Caja China folks sell on their site? I’ve read blogs where folks use a pan of wood chips inside the unit, but would like your opinion. If you’ve used the smoke pistol, will you please comment on it’s effectiveness? If you’ve found another way to smoke meat with La Caja China, I’d love to hear about it.

Perry: Yes, I’ve used the smoke pistol, as well as the pan method, and a couple of others. You can see my full review on my favorite smokin’ hardware in this post: A-Maze-N Pellet Smoker Review.

Josh: I see you mentioned that Cuban pork is done tender, but firm. How do ribs turn out? I’m really looking for ‘fall off the bone’ ribs. I see that many people use La Caja China to cook ribs, but I haven’t seen any pictures/videos that show that the ribs are really tender.

Perry: Yup, I do low and slow ribs, both beef and pork in my La Caja China, and have several great recipes in my La Caja China cookbooks. For beef ribs, see this recipe: Beef Ribs in LaCajaChina

Josh: How do pork butts turn out? Right now, I use a combination of a Smokenator (a clever addition to a Weber Kettle grill) and my oven for a total of 16 hours (at 220 degrees) and the butts literally fall apart.

They are amazing. I’m confident that the pork butts that come out of La Caja China are great, but I’d really like to know if it will be possible to get the type of results I get from the smoker/oven.

Perry: I know exactly the method you’re referring to, as I did it the same way for years. Butts and shoulders are my #1 use for my boxes, and I’ve cooked many, many dozens of them, both for myself and for customers of our bbq catering biz. I can smoke 6-8 shoulders at a time in the larger boxes.

Want to take the hassle out of meal planning? For super-simple, healthy and delicious dinner recipes, check out our FREE weekly meal plans and shopping lists!

I inject and rub, then cook to 190, then wrap and rest. Save any juices, and mix them back into the shredded meat with a touch of cider vinegar. Shoulders come out perfect. Search this site for “shoulders”, there are a bunch here, and more in the cookbooks.

Josh: I’m look at the #2 unit. I know you have the Pro, but are you able to comment on the durability of the wooden units? Are they sturdy? Structurally sound? Etc? any info you have on this would be helpful.

Perry: I have the Semi-Pro, two of the model #2 units, and a model #3. My first box was a model #2. It’s seven years old, and we’ve done dozens of pigs, 25-30 shoulders, a couple of dozen turkeys, 20-25 briskets, a couple of lambs, and a whole bunch of chickens in it, and it’s still going strong. I need to replace the firepan, but that’s because of user error (I backed over it with my truck and tweaked it, lol.)

If you’re in a low-humidity area, I recommend keeping it covered and it’s fine to store outside. I keep mind the the garage, as I live in Oregon.

Hope this helps! I love answering questions about La Caja China, and barbeque in general, so keep firin’ away! If you haven’t done so, make sure to download my free ebook, the La Caja China Guidebook, here.

And, of course, can still roast an amazing pig in there, as well! 🙂 See my step-by-step video, here!

Thanks again!

-Perry

Perry P. Perkins
Author
“La Caja China Cooking”
“La Caja China World”
“MEAT FIRE GOOD”
Burnin’ Love BBQ
http://www.burninloveblog.com
http://www.facebook.com/BurninLoveBBQ

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La Caja China Model #3 Assembly and Maiden Voyage

Hey all,

I had the privilege last night of helping a friend of mine assemble his first La Caja China, a model #3, and then cook an awesome mess of barbecued chicken in it, as well!

For once, I remembered to take some pictures of the process, so here’s a qucik slideshow of the step-by-step, following the instrustions that came with the roaster. If you have any questions, lemme know!

PLEASE NOTE: After my fifth time assembling a La Caja China, the MOST IMPORTANT piece of advice I can give you in assembling your own, is this – DO NOT TIGHTEN THE BOLTS UNTIL FULLY ASSEMBLED. Last night, I got all of the bolts in place, with the wingnuts just barely threaded on, and did not have a single issue with getting all of the holes lined up correctly.

I can tell you this from experience, if you tighten down one side, before threading the bolts on the other, the holes on the second side WILL NOT line up correctly.

My second peice of advice is based on my own reoccuring screw-up. I usually forget to affix the handles to one end of the box, BEFORE tightening down the bolts. However, now that I’ve done it both ways, I would recommend fully assembling and tightening down the box, THEN unscrew the necessary wingnuts and add the handles. For some reason, once the whole unit is pulled together tight, it stays that way, and attaching the handles is WAY easier.

Oh, and if your wondering about the chicken –

2 – cut up fryers
1 cup of your favorite bbq rub*, mixed with 1 cup brown sugar
2 cups favorite bbq sauce*
1 cup apple cider vinegar

Line the roasting pan with foil and insert the rack. Pout 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of cider vinegar in the bottom.

Rub chicken pieces with dry rub and place on rack.

Close the box and light 5lbs of charcoal on top. After 30 minutes spread the coals evenly across the top. Cooking time starts now.

Roast chicken for 30 minutes. Open box, flip chicken peices, close up and roast another 30 minutes.

Brush chicken with bbq sauce, add 5lbs of charcoal (1 chimney), roast 15 minutes, flip and repeat.

Remove chicken from La Caja China, tent with foil, and allow to rest 10 minutes.

Serve with coleslaw and cornbread!

NOTE: I prefer to roast the chicken inside the box, as opposed to grilling it on top. The results of roasting are the moistest and juiciest chicken I’ve ever eaten. If you like a touch of char, you can always toss the chicken up on the grill for a few minutes after it finishes roasting, just to get some grill marks and caramelize the sugar in the sauce.

I usually do this myself, but I forgot my top grill last night. Nobody seemed to mind, lol!

*Recipes for a number of delicious sauces and rubs, and many more entrees, can be found in my cookbook, La Caja China Cooking!

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La Caja China Semi-Pro Tray Stacking instructions, and the Ash Disposal Unit assembly instructions.

Here they are…thanks Roberto!

Ash Disposal Unit Assembly Instructions (Click here)

La Caja China Semi-Pro Tray Stacking instructions…

La Caja China Semi-Pro Tray Stacking instructions, and the Ash Disposal Unit assembly instructions.

-Perry

 

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La Caja China’s Rotisserie Kit

Hey all,

Here’s a nice (and very short) peek at the La Caja China’s rotisserie kit.

These run about sixty bucks, and fit models 1, 2, & 3 (the Cajita.)

From the website:

Cook chickens or sausages while you cook inside the box. This portable rotisserie cooking system is designed to be used to cook great meals over any Caja China, open fire, or on the ground. It runs on two D size batteries and can be used virtually anywhere.

I’ll be ordering one next week, so watch for a review soon!

– Perk

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