Category Archives: Q & A

La Caja China “How To” Posts

http://i0.wp.com/cubeville.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/post7.jpg?resize=274%2C206Hey all,

Thought it might be time to get all of my La Caja China “How To” posts indexed for easy ready (and to save myself the trouble of constantly looking up the individual URLs…I’m so lazy…)

La Caja China is not a good or a service – It’s an experience.  It’s a culture. It’s about the age-old mainstays of good food, good friends, and good times. It’s rugged but romantic. Requiring butchering, braising, brining and handling. It’s charcoal and chatter. As the food cooks, the aromas become as enticing as the spectacle itself. It becomes not just a conversation piece, but a conversation starter.

Most of all, La Caja China is realizing that in 4 hours or less you’ve made a delicious, authentic meal that ended up feeding your soul.

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! Your free membership helps us teach valuable cooking skills to at-risk youth!

Here are some of my most popular “how to” posts on La Caja China…if you’re looking for great recipes for cooking on your La Caja China, check out my cookbooks La Caja China Cooking and La Caja China Word, available in paperback and Kindle eBook on Amazon.com at www.perryperkinsbooks.com

http://i1.wp.com/www.bbqsmokersite.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/La-Cajita-China-3.jpg?resize=224%2C299The Articles

La Caja China Pig Roast

Beef Ribs in La Caja China

How to smoke briskets on La Caja China

La Caja China Semi Pro

La Caja China Semi-Pro has arrived!

Whole Pickin’ Pig on La Caja China Semi-Pro

Grilling on the Go with La Caja China

Multi-Zone Fires

Q&A: Marinading Pork Shoulders

Q&A: First time cooking on La Caja China

Q&A: Pork Shoulders on La Caja China

Temps and Tips for La Caja China

How to Start the Smoke Pistol

Bobby Flay & La Caja China

Q&A: Luau Whole Hog

Flipping a pig in La Caja China

La Caja China’s Rotisserie Kit

Roasting a Whole Pig (video)

La Caja China Cooking

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

Q & A: Roasting a whole lamb

The Taste of Love is Sweet…

La Caja China Model #3 Assembly and Maiden Voyage

Very nice reviews from National Barbecue News

Brining vs. Injecting Pork

La Caja China World – Roasting Box Recipes from Around the Globe

Q&A – How much pig do I need to serve X number of people?

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Q&A – How much pig do I need to serve X number of people?

http://i1.wp.com/burninlovebbq.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/aaaapig.jpg?w=500In general for pork:

If:
Live weight = 100 lbs.
Then:
Dressed (72%) = 72.5 lbs.
And:
Eatable yield = 50-52 lbs.

I base my calculations on “dressed weight” because that’s how I always buy my pigs.

Remember, this is a generalization, pigs (like people) can carry widely different ratios of muscle, bone, and fat.

So,  now you know how much porktastic meat you’ll end up with, but…how much are people going to eat?

I plan 1/2lb per person, edible yield, for “mixed groups” (Men, women, and children), or potlucks with lots of side dishes.

So… 52lbs eatable yield / .5 =  100 servings (rounded down.) I know, that sounds like a lot, but it’s worked out almost exactly to that figure with the last half-dozen pigs I’ve roasted.  This is likely because for every mom who nibbles on a 1/4lb slice of pig, there’s a teen-age boy scoffing down three times as much!

I plan 3/4lb per person, dressed weight, if it’s mostly men, or if I’m just serving pulled pork sandwiches as the meal.

This equates to about 70 servings from a 52lb pig.

Hope that helps!

Chef Perry

Perry P. Perkins
Author
La Caja China Cooking
La Caja China World

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! Your free membership helps us teach valuable cooking skills to at-risk youth!

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Q & A: Roasting a whole lamb

Hi Perry,

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!

Coby

————————

Coby,

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!

-Perry

 

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.

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! Your free membership helps us teach valuable cooking skills to at-risk youth!

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

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Slow Beef Short Ribs without the Grease?

My friend Duane asks:

“Hey Perry, do you have a good recipe for short ribs? They always seem so fat and greasy to me.”

I don’t cook a lot of short ribs, because…well…they tend to be fat and greasy!

There are solutions to this problem, but they’re pretty labor intensive.

Still, when I occasionally get a hankerin’ for short ribs (or, more likely, they’re on sale at a great price…) here’s what I do:

Barbecued Beef Short Ribs

5 pounds beef chuck short ribs
24 ounces Guinness
2 Tbs dry rub
Your favorite homemade, or bottled sauce. (I like Sweet Baby Rays)

Trim the excess fat from the ribs. Put ribs in a large cooking pot, cover with beer, sprinkle in dry rub, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover the pot and simmer untol tender (about 2 hours.)

Fire up your grill to medium heat, a place ribs directly over the coals. Mop with 1/4 of the bbq sauce. Cover and grill, turning often and brushing with a second 1/4 of the sauce, until crispy on the outside. (About 15 minutes.)

NOTE: I like to grill beef over an oak & pecan blend of chunk wood. If this is too much of a hassle, at least toss a couple of hand-fulls of oak chips on the coals 5-10 minutes before you add the ribs.

Heat remaining bbq sauce for dipping. Serve with ribs.

If you’re a hard-core bbq purist and shudder at the thought of boiling the short ribs, rub them with spices and cook them at barbecuing temperatures (210°) for about 5-8 hours, in a rib rack, basting with a combo of bbq sauce and beef broth until tender.

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Q&A: Luau Whole Hog

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Q&A: Digital Thermometers

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Q&A: Pork Shoulders on La Caja China

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Q&A: First time cooking on La Caja China

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Q&A: Marinading Pork Shoulders

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