Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Whole Hog: Live weight vs. Hanging Weight

Whole hog hanging weight



La Caja China Cooking reader, Fr. Bill, asks:

Chef Perry, in your article, “How much pig do I need to serve X number of people?“, your weight of 1/2 pound per person is based on the butchered, ready-to-go-in-the-box pig, correct? How much loss do you figure from live pig to dressed pig (i.e., if you want 70 pounds of meat to go in the box, how big a live pig to you order?

Thanks, Fr. Bill



MY RESPONSE:

Fr. Bill, sorry for the delay, I’ve been away from my desk, cooking for the evacuee camp for the Eagle Creek Fire for the last couple of weeks, and I’m still digging through a mountain of emails, lol.

Yes, my 1/2 per serving is based on uncooked “ready for the box” hanging weight.

Common consensus is that hanging (or dressed) weight is about 72% of live weight. So, for a 70lb (raw weight) carcass, you’re looking at around 100# pig, live on the hoof. Personally, I’d bump that up to around 120#, to account for variables in body length, bone density etc., (plus – I like left-overs!) 😉

Hope that helps…Let me know how it goes!

Chef Perry
Author
La Caja China Cooking
La Caja China World
La Caja China Party!
La Caja China Grill

Whole hog dressed weight

                            Happiness in your name on a pig’s butt…

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Cold Weather Tips for La Caja China

Whole Roast Pig La Caja China

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


 

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!

Chef Perry
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