Tag Archives: Semi pro

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

7 Comments

Filed under Hardware, Accessories & Add Ons

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 16, 2011

Elk Mountain Books is pleased to announce the release of:

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

by Perry P. Perkins

Publication Date: Jun 11, 2011
ISBN 1463563167
Page Count: 158
Binding: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 7″ x 10″
Categories: Cooking / Methods / Barbecue & Grilling
US$14.95

From the author:

La Caja China, the Cuban roasting box, has become the toast of food writers and celebrity gourmets, including Food Network’s THROWDOWN Chef, Bobby Flay.

In La Caja China Cooking: The Secret to Perfect Roasting, we took a gastronomic tour of America.

With this new collection of recipes, your La Caja China becomes a magic carpet, allowing you to take your friends and family to the far corners of the world, and experience the delicious wonders waiting for you there!

In every culture and country that we researched in gathering this collection, we found people who enjoyed gathering together with loved ones, lighting a fire, cooking meat over it (or under it), and eating together.

Not coincidentally, we think, these folks shared a common passion for life and laughter, as well.

In La Caja China World, we invite your taste buds to join us on a globe-trotting adventure with dishes like:

Grilled Tri-Tip & Chimichurri in Argentina
Whole Roast Pig & Coconut Rice in Bali
Roast lamb & Potatoes in Greece
Beef Short Ribs & Scallion Salad in Korea
Christmas Goose in Sweden

If you’re looking to roast, grill, bake, braise, smoke, or barbecue; whether you’re cooking for a crowd, or creating memories with your family – look no further than La Caja China World!

La Caja China World is available from our eStore, as well as from our official Amazon.com Storefront.

Buy both La Caja China Cooking & La Caja China World, together, and get FREE shipping from Amazon!

Plus – Purchase your copy of La Caja China World by Friday, June 24th, and enter* for a chance to win a $50 grab-bag of your choice of La Caja China accessories! We’ll even pick up the shipping!

*To enter to win the grab-bag, participants must forward a copy of their e-receipt of purchase for La Caja China World, along with full name, mailing address, and personal email address, to editor@elkmountainbooks. All entries must be received by midnight Sunday, June 26th, 2011. One entry per copy ordered.

  ____________________________

About the Author

Perry P. Perkins is a freelance writer and work-from-home dad, born and raised in the Pacific Northwest (with a little time in Georgia.)

Perry has written several books, including two novels, four cookbooks, and two short-story collections. He writes regularly for a number of outdoor and travel magazines, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and several online foodie sites, including his own blog: www.burninloveblog.com

Both Perkins’ father and grandfather were professional chefs, and he was raised with a passion to cook, grill, and barbeque. One of three pit-masters behind Burnin’ Love BBQ, a local catering team, his favorite cooking equipment is La Caja China.

All of Perry’s books can be found at www.perryperkinsbooks.com

1 Comment

Filed under Press Releases

Roasting Turkeys for The Father’s Heart Homeless Ministry

I had a wonderful opportunity to fire up BOTH of my La Caja China roasting boxes, spend the day cooking and hangin’ out with friends, and blessing a bunch of folks at our local homeless shelter, The Father’s Heart. What a great day! (see slide show, below.)

I think we fed around 100, and I have to say it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had, anywhere.  If I’d been served that plate at a fancy restaurant, I promise you…I’d be going back!

Teri Gant did her usual amazing job of organizing, overseeing, and being the love of Jesus to everyone who came in out of the (frigid) cold, for a warm meal. Teri…you’re awesome, you amaze me!

Everyone who reads this post…please please please check out the TFH link above, and see how you can help.

To all of you who donated the turkeys and ingredients, and to the McMonagle family who gave their day to help me with the cooking and serving…God bless you!

For my fellow La Caja China owners, here’s the recipe I used. I did six turkeys, but this is the “per box” amounts. They came out VERY nice. I will never…I mean never…roast another chicken or turkey without brining it first! The differences in the flavor, the tenderness, and the juiciness of the meat are indescribable.

I used my Model #1, and my Semi Pro (see pictures.)

If you don’t have a La Caja China…yet…you can get similar results in a 350 degree oven. I’m telling you, though, I’ve done this both ways, and the oven just doesn’t compare the the roasting box for flavor, or, obviously…volume.

Simple Brined Turkeys in la Caja China
(3) 12-14lb turkeys, thawed and rinsed
6 C salt
6 C sugar
Peanut oil
1/4 cup Adobo Criollo spices
Water to cover

Boil 1 gallon of water, add salt and sugar, stir to dissolve. Allow to cool.

Place turkeys in a water-tight container, large enough to allow a little space around each.

Poor the cooled brine over the turkeys, add enough cold water to cover. Move turkeys to a cool area, or refrigerate 8-10 hours.

Discard brine and rinse turkeys thoroughly, rub each turkey with a little peanut oil, and sprinkle liberally with Mojo Criollo spices, including inside the cavity.

Place each turkey in a disposable roasting pan, breast down, tent each loosely with foil, and place pans in La Caja China. Start 15 pounds of charcoal in two even piled, allow to burn 30 minutes and then spread evenly. Cooking time starts now.

Roast turkeys 2 hours, adding 7lbs of coals every 30 minutes. Dump ashes after the first hour.

Flip turkeys (breast up) and tent again with foil. Cook another hour, adding lbs of coals every 30 minutes. Dump ashes after an hour.

Remove foil and brown the tops of the turkeys for another half-hour, DO NOT add more coals.

Total cooking time: 3.5 hours

Remove turkeys from La Caja China, re-tent loosely, and allow to rest 1 hour before slicing.

Save drippings for gravy, or mix with stuffing.

8 Comments

Filed under In The Box Recipes

La Caja China Cooking

Elk Mountain Books is pleased to announce the immediate release of “La Caja China Cooking” by Perry P. Perkins.

Click on Image to Purchase

La Caja China, the Cuban roasting box, has become the toast of food writers and celebrity gourmets, including Food Network’s THROWDOWN Chef, Bobby Flay.

In “La Caja China Cooking” Pit-master Perry Perkins takes you on a gastronomic tour of America, from Miami’s classic Cuban dishes, to traditional Texas and Carolina BBQ, to the crisp, fresh flavors of the Pacific Northwest.

Perkins includes grill-top favorites, amazing side dishes, and step-by-step Caja China instructions for “in-the-box” crowd-pleasers like:

~ True Texas Brisket
~ Pacific Northwest Salmon
~ Southern Roast Turkey
~ Carolina Pork Ribs
~ Memphis Whole Pickin’ Pig

So, fire up the coals, pick your favorite recipe, and dazzle your guests with these simple, yet mouth-watering dishes.

Wonderful things can happen when you think inside the box!

Product Details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Elk Mountain Books (August 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451598017
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451598018
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 0.4 inches
  • Foreword: Roberto Guerra
  • MSRP: US $14.95

About the Author

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, and his inspirational stories have been included in twelve Chicken Soup anthologies, as well.

Perry’s books include the novels Just Past Oysterville, and Shoalwater Voices, Elk Hunters Don’t Cry, and his new short story collection, Four From Left Field. Perry, his wife Victoria and their young daughter Grace live in the Pacific Northwest, and you can read more of his work at www.perryperkinsbooks.com.

All of Perry’s books are available on this page at Amazon.com

11 Comments

Filed under Reviews

La Caja China Semi-Pro has arrived!

Here are the pics, God bless anything that comes pre-assembled! Roberto and the guys at La Caja China really outdid themselves on this one!

3 Comments

Filed under Hardware, Accessories & Add Ons

La Caja China Semi Pro

Okay, so my wedding, and the birth of my daughter were more exciting, but I think this is #3…

This is the new La Caja China Semi Pro Model, and mine is shipping this week!!!

This new model has all the same distinct capabilities as the original La Caja China model #2, (which I have) but an updated sleek look – diamond-cut metal exterior, steel angle legs with powder coating paint and bolt mounted handles – and some new bells and whistles like the drain valve, that makes it even easier to use, and it ships assembled!

As you know, I’m a long-time La Caja China fanatic…but this baby is taking it to a whole new level!

FYI…I’m working with the creator or La Caja China on a cookbook right now, stay tuned!

-Perry

3 Comments

Filed under Hardware, Accessories & Add Ons