Tag Archives: pig roasting box

Chef P’s Smoked Swineapple


I’ve gotten a lot of messages and emails this year, asking me when I was going to get around to trying out the big fad recipe of 2016, the infamous “Amazing Swineapple” (A Frankensteinian flavor bomb of a pork-stuffed fresh pineapple wrapped in bacon!)

Well, as I promised to do my own take on it before the year is over, AND today just happens to be National Bacon Day, here we go…

I used our Burnin’ Love Pork Rub recipe, and my go to Yoshida’s Original sauce. I also decided to precook the pork, both for safety reasons, and to get some smoke and char into the flavor profile. It also makes the whole thing WAY quicker to cook, which gives you a better consistency on the pineapple.

Ingredients for Swineapple
1 Large Pineapple (the larger the better)
1 lb. of good quality, thin sliced, bacon (I like the “low sodium” for this recipe)
5/6 Boneless Pork Ribs (Picnic cut, from the shoulder)
Burnin’ Love Pork Rub (see recipe here)
Yoshida’s Original Sauce

Rubbed pork ribs for swineapple
Rub pork ribs with seasoning and refrigerate overnight in a zip bag. Remove to counter one hour before you plan to start cooking.

Grilling ribs for Swineapple
Grill ribs over direct high heat on well seared on all sides, but not overcooked (1-2 minutes per side). Brush with sauce as you turn each side.

Heat your smoker to 250F.

Coring pineapple for Smoked Swineapple recipe
Slice the rind off of the pineapple, cut off one end (do not discard) and carefully core out the center leaving an outer edge approx 1 inch thick.

Coring pineapple for Smoked Swineapple recipe
Stuff the pineapple with the pork ribs, packing them in tight.

Smoked Swineapple recipe
Carefully position the pineapple end you saved earlier back onto the end of the pineapple, securing with toothpicks.
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Create a “bacon weave” (see instructions here)

acon weave wrapped swineapple
Wrap the pineapple with bacon weave, and pinning in place with toothpicks. Sprinkle exterior generously with more rub.

Bacon weave wrapped swineapple
Place in the pre-heated smoker for 3 hours.

Bacon weave wrapped swineapple
When the smoked swineapple is finished remove all of the toothpicks, remove the top, slice and serve immediately.

Bacon weave wrapped swineapple
This is great over some simple white rice!

Chef Perry

Bacon weave wrapped swineapple

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Balinese Rotisserie Chicken

Balinese Rotisserie Chicken on La Caja China

Balinese roast suckling pig is widely considered to be the best pork you can put in your mouth. The secret, besides the constant attention, is the amazing fresh aromatics like lemongrass, chilies, cilantro, and lime stuffing the piggy, and the constant basting with coconut water while spinning over smoking hardwood coals.

I was drooling into my keyboard over this recipe the other day and thought… “that would make a amazing rotisserie chicken.”

And you know what…I was right!

The first thing to keep in mind, if you’re grilling or using the rotisserie over an empty box, is that you want something inside the box to soak up the heat and keep the box from overheating and possibly warping. I found that about a gallon of water in an oven-safe pot does the trick!

water pot

Okay, here we go…

The Recipe

  • 1 3-4lb whole roasting chicken
  • 1/4 cup peeled ginger, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 lg. shallots, sliced
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, sliced
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 red Thai chilies, optional
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon                                 
  • 2 pieces of star anise
  • 1 tsp Thai shrimp paste
  • 2 bunches fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. salt
  • 4 cups plain coconut water
  • 1 lime, sliced

Rub

  • 1 tsp. saffron threads            
  • 1 Tbsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp. fine sea salt

Rinse chickens inside and out with cold water. Pat dry and set aside.

Combine rub ingredients, and rub exterior of chicken on all sides.

Balinese Rotisserie Chicken on La Caja China

Combine all remaining ingredients, except coconut water, for stuffing.

Set ½ cup of stuffing aside for baste. Stuff what remains into the bird, and truss with kitchen string.

Balinese Rotisserie Chicken on La Caja China

Combine the reserved ½ cup of stuffing with coconut water, and set aside for basting.

Balinese Rotisserie Chicken on La Caja China

Light 16lbs (1 bag) of Kingsford charcoal at one end of your la caja china. Light just the front edge of the coals, so that the coals burn slowly from front to back.


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Balinese Rotisserie Chicken on La Caja China

Run the spit-forks, spikes first, up the skewer and push firmly into the chicken. Tighten the wingnuts on the sit-forks to keep them in place. Insert skewer into the upright poles and set square end into motor slot. Turn the rotisserie on.

Rake ½ of the lit coals to the far end of the coal grate (under the chicken). Rake some more to that end, leaving an open slot directly under the chicken.

Balinese Rotisserie Chicken on La Caja China

Roast approximately 2 hours, basting every few minutes with the coconut water mixture, and raking more coals under the chicken as needed until the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted into the inner thigh (but not touching the bone) registers 165°F.

Remove from heat and allow to rest, tenting in foil, for at least 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry

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Luau-style Whole Roast Pig

Whole Luau Pig in La Caja China

Our friend Fred asks:

Have you a special recipe or suggestion on a 90 lb. luau style pig?

Note…done in a Caja China No. 2


Fred,

You bet I do!

I’ve done many whole luau pigs in my Model #1, #2, and the Semi-Pro model, as well.

Here’s my step-by-step video recipe and instructions for Carolina (bbq) whole pig.

The three biggest suggestions I would have, are:

Make sure that your pig is completely thawed, and as close to room temp as your comfortable with, before you start cooking.

Start with as much coal as the instructions say. I’ve used 10lbs instead of 15, and the box just won’t come to cooking temp. It’s really a very scientific design, and the instructions have to be followed pretty close (not always my strong point, lol!) BTW – A standard Weber charcoal chimney holds almost exactly 7lbs of Kingsford briquettes.

Overcome the desire to lift the lid and “peek” during cooking. La Caja China is designed to not be opened at all, except to flip the pig, and it really messes up the cooking time when folks do so. I even use a large metal scoop to remove excess ashes, so I don’t have to lift the lid off to do so.

Hawaiian Mojo

Recipes from “La Caja China Cooking” & “La Caja China World” by Perry P. Perkins

This is my variation of Roberto’s Cuban Mojo. “Real” luau pig is typically seasoned with just salt and liquid smoke., but I like the sweet, Polynesian overtones that this marinade/mop adds to the pork.

1 C orange juice
1 C pineapple juice
½ C mesquite liquid smoke*
1 Tbs oregano
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
3 tsp salt
4 oz. of water

Mix all the ingredients and let it sit for a minimum of one hour.

For marinade/injection, add the above recipe to 1 ½ gallons of water, and 13 oz. of table salt.

Blend all ingredients and let it sit for a minimum of one hour, strain and inject, or place meat in a cooler and pour marinade to cover overnight.

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After injecting/soaking the pig or shoulder, apply a salt rub all over the meat, use Kosher Salt or Sea Salt.

*Personally, I would skip the liquid smoke and use

Let me know if you have any other questions on this, or any recipe, and let me know how it turns out!

And just ’cause you seem like a good guy, Fred, here’s the full recipes from La Caja China Party for my Luau Pig and my favorite Big Island Mac Salad…

Happy Q’ing!

-Chef Perry

Platter of Luau food

A big ol’ platter of awesome…Luau Pork, Kalbi short ribs, Lomi Salmon, Mac Salad, Purple Yam, Poi…mmm….

Puaʻa Kalua 

(Hawaiian whole roast pig)

Kālua is a traditional Hawaiian cooking method that utilizes an imu, or underground oven. Hawaiian puaʻa kālua (roast pig)  is commonly served at luau feasts. The first known use of the kalua method was in the early 1900s by two girls, Princess Danielle Kealoha and Stephanie Ikaika.

1 – 45-80lb pig, cleaned and butterflied
2 cups mesquite liquid smoke (or better ~ use your A-MAZE-N Smoker)
1 cup Hawaiian salt (or fine sea salt)
8 to 12 large ti/banana leaves

Brush the entire pig with a light layer of liquid smoke, then sprinkle the whole pig inside and out with fine sea-salt.

If you have an A-MAZE-N smoker for your La Caja, skip the brushing with liquid smoke and just burn some apple wood pellets for the first two hours or so. Use the liquid smoke wash at the end of the recipe, if you want more smoke flavor in the meat.

Roast Pig with Banana Leaves in La Caja China

Spread several ti (or banana) leaves on the bottom rack. Place pig between the racks, skin side down, and tie using the 4 S-Hooks.

Cover box with the ash pan and charcoal grid. Add 16 lbs. of charcoal for Model #1 Box or 18lbs. for Model #2, or Semi Pro Box, and light up. Once lit (20-25 minutes) spread the charcoal evenly over the charcoal grid.

Cooking time starts right now. (Write it down.)

After 1 hour, add 10 lbs. of charcoal. Continue to add 10 lbs. of charcoal every hour until you reach 195 on the meat thermometer.

IMPORTANT: Do not open the box until you reach the desired temperature!

Once you reach 195, (4-4 ½ hours) lift the charcoal grid shake it well to remove the ashes, now place it on top of the long handles.

Remove the ash pan from the box and dispose of the ashes.

Flip the pig over, baste and salt again, and replace the cover to crispy the skin.

Flipping is easily done using La Caja China’s patented Rack System, just grab the end of the rack, and lift and slide as you pull upward, using the other hand grab the top end of the other rack and slide it down.

Whole Luau Pig La Caja China

Pull out as much of the ti/banana leaves as possible (toss), and score the skin using a very sharp knife – this helps to remove the fat and crisp the skin. I just cut a shallow X in each of square of the rack. You want to cut through the skin, but not into the meat.  Sprinkle more sea salt on the skin and, if you want, a little more liquid smoke.

Cover the box again with the ash pan and the charcoal grid; do not add more charcoal at this time.

After 30 minutes, take a peek, if Ms. Piggy isn’t quite as gold and crispy as you wanted, close the lid another ten.  You will continue doing this every 10 minutes until the skin is crispy to your liking.

Crispy Skin La Caja China

Once the pig is to your liking, set the lid back on at an angle, so the pig stays warm but isn’t cooking,  and let it rest for 30-60 minutes…it will still be too hot to touch bare-handed.

For easier carving, lay the whole pig, ribs up (on it’s back), and use a boning knife to remove the entire skeleton before slicing or chopping the meat.

Dissolve 2 tablespoons Hawaiian salt in 2 cups boiling water and add 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke. Toss with cooked pork and let stand in this solution for a few minutes before serving.

Serve with Macaroni salad…and a Mai Tai.

Ohoiho!

Island Mac Salad

Big Island Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad is a staple of the Hawaii-style plate lunch. It’s slightly tangy, slightly sweet and traditionally served with kalua pork and a few scoops of white rice. After MUCH experimentation, this is my favorite method and ingredients, but everyone’s recipe is just a little different. Have fun with it!

1 pound large elbow macaroni
¼ cup very finely grated onion
¼ cup shredded carrots
¼ cup diced green onions
2½ cups Best Foods Real Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tbs (lots) coarse black pepper

Cook pasta until soft and fat, but you can go al dente if you prefer.

Stir in onion and mayo,

Add salt and pepper, to taste. Stir well and refrigerate 2-3 hours before serving. Sprinkle a little diced green onion over the top.

The abundance of black pepper is what, in my opinion, sets Hawaii-style macaroni salad apart, and above, any other recipe I’ve tried.

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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
joinmykitchen.com

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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!

2 (3)

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.

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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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How to get super crispy skin on whole roast pig

Caja China crispy skin

A friend of mine asked about how to achieve that super crispy “pig candy” skin when roasting a pig in La Caja China.

First of all, just following the directions on the box itself is a great start, and will get you a yummy crisp skin. For that “potato-chip” crisp that makes Cuban and Fillipino lechón so amazing, however, I suggest a couple of things above and beyond the typical recipe.

The first two steps can be used with any “whole hog” cooking method, while the third is specific to La Caja China style roasting boxes.

The fact is, the dryer skin is when you start cooking, the crisper is will turn out.

That lovely crunchy skin on Peking Duck comes from air-drying the duck’s skin prior to cooking. Similarly, there are a couple of things you can to to get super-crunch results with your pig. crispy pig skin

#1. After marinading (or if not marinading, then the night before roasting) pat the entire pig down with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Then, rub the skin generously with a salt-heavy rub, or straight sea salt. I recommend a fine grind, as it will adhere better. Personally, I prefer to inject the pig (or whatever I’m roasting), instead of marinating it externally, as soaking in liquid for hours is kinda counter productive to drying the skin, lol. It’s also a lot less messy. http://i1.wp.com/burninlovebbq.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/p9110317.jpg?resize=396%2C266 #2. As you bring the pig to room temp (a must), set up an oscillating fan – or, preferably, two – pointed at the uncovered pig, to help to help “air-dry” the skin as much as possible. If your fan(s) can’t cover the whole carcass at one time, move them around every 30 minutes or so. http://i1.wp.com/burninlovebbq.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/article1.jpg?resize=331%2C271 (Yes, I know these are ducks…but you get the idea! Btw, here’s THAT recipe –Peking Duck ala La Cajita China)

#3. When you flip your pig to brown the skin for the last 30 minutes or so, pat the skin down again with paper towels, give it another sprinkle of rub, and (most important) set the coal tray back on at a slight angle so that there are gaps on both sides of the box.

This will allow any excess moisture cooking out of the skin to escape the box, instead of being contained and “steaming” the skin.

Watch your pig carefully at this point, as a dry skin will brown (and burn) much faster than one with a high moisture content.

Check out our video for a step-by-step on roasting a whole pig.

Hope that helps, lemme know if you have any questions!

– Chef Perry

PS – I like this Q&A so much, I’m going to update my free ebook, “La Caja China Guidebook” with this info! Thanks!

PPS – If your first try or two for crispy skin doesn’t turn out perfect, DON’T THROW THAT SKIN OUT! Instead, bag it, let it cool (or freeze), then, when you’re ready for an awesome snack, cut the skin into 2×2 squares, and place them on a rack , skin up, over a foil-lined cookie sheet.

Sprinkle lightly with salt or rub, and roast in a 300d oven for 3 hours or until deeply tan and very crispy. Allow to cool until just warm, and serve with a dipping mix of cider vinegar, salt, and red pepper flake.So FREAKIN’ good!

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How much is enough? BBQ for a crowd.

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One of the most frustrating aspects of cooking for a crowd is the fear of running out of food.

I HATE seeing an empty pan on my serving table!

So, how much should you buy? Too little, and you risk running out, too much and you’ve spent more than you need to (this looks especially bad to a catering client!)

Here are some general guidelines to help you calculate how many people you can serve with that raw chunk of meat on the butcher’s shelf…

When planning a meal, it is always better to purchase too much meat than not enough. Always be prepared for people with larger appetites.

One trick I use is to add a “mystery” guest for every 4 confirmed. In other words, I plan 5 portions for 4 people, 10 portions for 8, 15 for 12, etc. If there are leftovers, the cooked meat will keep in the refrigerator for several days or the unused portions may be frozen for long term storage.

How much to cook in La Caja China

Luau pork shoulders in La Caja China

Approximate BB

(Raw weight)
Pork, Shoulder Bone-in                        3
Pork, Back Ribs                                    1.5
Pork, Country Style Ribs                     2
Pork, Spareribs                                    1.5
Pork, Whole                                          1.5
Beef, Standing Rib                               2.5
Beef, Ribs                                              2.5
Beef, Tri-Tip                                         4
Chicken, Whole                                     3
Lamb, Leg (bone in)                             1
Turkey, Whole                                     ¾


MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, 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.

 

When planning a meal, it is always better to purchase too much meat than not enough.

Always be prepared for people with larger appetites.

One trick I use is to add a “mystery” guest for every 4 confirmed. In other words, I plan 5 portions for 4 people, 10 portions for 8, 15 for 12, etc.

If there are leftovers, the cooked meat will keep in the refrigerator for several days or the unused portions may be frozen for long term storage.

Happy Q’ing!

-Chef Perry

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La Caja China Pig Roast

 La Caja China

Okay, here’s the 4th post in the La Caja China series. Previously, we’ve had a luau, added the smoker-pistol attachment, and cooked up some ribs. Finally we’re going to go whole-hog (ouch)…
The bad news…my digital thermometer died about fifteen minutes into the process.
The good news…followed the directions printed on the box to a tee, along with the “pig roast worksheet” and the piggie came out perfect!1 – 42lb pig, cleaned and butterflied
1 – gallon mojo (see below)
1 – 1lb fine sea-salt
2 – 18 bags of charcoal (exactly.)
Oh, and you can find this, and many more, step-by-step recipes in my cookbooks, La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, and La Caja China Party, as well.

keeping a whole pig cold

So, here’s Ms. Piggy…picked her up at Owijamaya in Beaverton, $200.00, probably could have found her cheaper, but this was a store I trusted and the pig was ready to exactly my specifications.

Note: Always warn your wife, in advance, that she’s going to find a big dead animal in her bathtub…

My partner in crime, Chef Chris, seasons Ms. Piggy with some fine-grain sea salt. That smoker you see behind his is loaded to the gills with Chris’s world-famous briskets.

Roasting a pig in La Caja China

We’d injected the pig with my mojo (recipe below) the day before and, to get a little extra “pit” flavor, I’m brushing her with Stubb’s Mesquite Liquid Smoke. I know this will make some purists scream, but until I can figure out the rippin’-frippin’ smoke pistol, it was the best I could do. (And…it tasted awesome.) UPDATE: Skip the liquid smoke and get yourself an A-MAZE-N Smoker! Simple to use, awesome results! See our video here.

Roasting a pig in La Caja China

Got the two piles of coals started. Another thing I love about the ‘China…if I’m just cooking internally, and not using the exterior grills, I can fire up whatever stinky, nasty, “quick-lighting” brand of coals I want, as the flavor won’t touch the meat. Still, make sure your work area is upwind…that stuff reeks!


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Roasting a pig in La Caja China

So, a couple of hundred hands of poker later…(about 3.5 hours) the lid came off and it was time to see what was making that wonderful smell.

Per instructions, we flipped her over (very easy) and scored the skin with a sharp knife.

Another quick brush of smoke. (That bullet-smoker chuggin’ away behind me is loaded with beer-can chickens. Dane used a Thai marinate in the birds and in the cans.)

Roasting a pig in La Caja China

After 15 minutes, skin-side up, we took a peek, but Ms. Piggy wasn’t quite as crispy as I wanted, so we closed the lid of another 5. Perfect. Set the lid at 45d and let the pig set for almost an hour…it was still too hot to touch bare-handed.

Ain’t she purty?

Now, I’ve cooked a LOT of pork-shoulders over the years, but I’ve never tasted any pork that compared to this. It was sweet and juicy, and the crispy skin was out of the world!

This was the first pig I’ve done, and I have to say it was so much easier than I thought. If you can read the instructions printed on the box, you can roast a whole pig.

Happy to answer any question!

~ Chef Perry

Perks Mojo

Ingredients:

½ cup minced garlic (the wet stuff.)

¼ cup fine sea salt

1/8 cup black pepper, fine ground

2 Tbs dried Oregano

2 quarts orange juice

1 quart lemon juice

1 quart pineapple juice

Mix all. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer.

Set aside 4 cups of mojo for later use.

Inject pig immediately, and refrigerate 24 hours.

Add 1 cup of Stubb’s mesquite liquid smoke to reserved mojo and use to baste pig before lighting the coals, just before turning, and again after turning.

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