I am cooking a 48 lb lamb on the caja china this weekend. Any suggestions on total cooking time, amount of charcoal, etc…? I’ve done a pig before, but I am concerned about cooking the lamb to medium-rare temperature.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Thanks for your post! Here’s the recipe from my cookbook, “La Caja China Cooking.”
Let me know if you have any further questions, and I hope the lamb turns out great!
Moroccan Whole Roast Lamb
Recipe by Dee Elhabbassi
1 – Grass-fed, three-month-old lamb around 36-40 pounds, skinned. As much surface fat removed as possible.
4 sweet onions, pureed 2 C fresh garlic, ground
2 C butter 2 C olive oil
Salt to taste 3 bunches cilantro, diced
¼ C cumin ½ C coriander
½ C paprika 2 Tbs fresh black pepper
Combine all chermoula ingredients and mix together over medium heat until it forms a paste. (Chermoula is a Moroccan marinade.)
Allow chermoula to set overnight.
Rub this mixture over the surface of the lamb making sure to get it evenly distributed, inside and out. Plan on allowing the chermoula to sit on the meat for 48 hours before you cook.
Place the lamb between the racks, tie using the 4 S-Hooks, and place inside the box, ribs side up. Connect the wired thermometer probe on the leg, be careful not to touch the bone.
Cover box with the ash pan and charcoal grid.
Add 16 lbs. of charcoal for Model #1 Box or 18lbs. for Model #2 Box and light up.
Once lit (20-25 minutes) spread the charcoal evenly over the charcoal grid. Cooking time starts right now.
After 1 hour (1st hour) open the box flip the Lamb over (ribs down) close the box and add 9 lbs. of charcoal.
After 1 hour (2nd hour) add 9 lbs. of charcoal.
Do not add any more charcoal; continue cooking the meat until you reach the desired temperature reading on the thermometer.
IMPORTANT: Do not open the box until you reach the desired temperature.
Cooking a whole lamb is as much an event, as it is a meal.
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With a little planning and preparation, it’s no more complicated than cooking a whole pig. Call ahead to your local butcher (if possible, one that specializes in Greek or Middle Eastern meats,) to order your lamb.
Plan on about 4 pounds of raw weight for each guest.
Carving a whole lamb can be intimidating, so take it in sections. You’ll need a large area to work with and several serving dishes or big pans.
Cut away the hind legs, then the forelegs. From here you can start carving up the individual sections.
The meat will be very tender, so slicing should not be a problem.
Fresh Lamb: Rare 140, Medium Rare 145, Medium 160