Tag Archives: smoke pistol

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.

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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

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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

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Kahlua vs. Kālua

Okay, so you learn somethin’ new every day, right?

I had no idea why they called my favorite island dishe,  Kahlua Pig, and never really thought about it. Until, that is,  my cousin Ken picked up a La Cajita China, and sent me a message this morning asking about my recipe for Gracie’s Kalua Pig, and what Kahlua had to so with the recipe.

(Specifically, if he was supposed to be drinking it while roasting the pork, lol)

I did some checking today, and was even more confused to find that Kahlua (the drink) is of Mexican origin and has nothing to do with the islands. I always assumed there was a connection.

That’s when I realized that I (and many others) have been misspelling the pork dish for years. It’s not Kahlua…it’s Kalua (Hawaiian puaʻa kālua.) The word kālua literally means “to cook in an underground oven” and also describes the flavor of food cooked in this manner.

That makes sense.

Check out this link…I can’t read it, but the step-by-step photos of puaʻa kālua are awesome! Oh, and here’s my Luau Whole Hog recipe, too.

Now, I gotta go back and check all my recipes! I blame this all on Microsoft’s spellchecker…and Ken, of course, lol.

As to the drink of choice while roasting, I would probably recommend a nice Mai Tai, but if Kahlua is your thing, have tall White-Russian for me…dude.

-Perk

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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

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How to Start the Smoke Pistol

Great video!

How to Start the Smoke Pistol for La Caja China:

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Q&A: First time cooking on La Caja China

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How to smoke briskets in La Caja China

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Hey all,

One of the facts that is often bemoaned about cooking with La Caja China (the Cuban roasting box) is that it’s hard to get an authentic smoked flavor with it.

There is an electric smoke unit that can be purchased, along with special pellet canisters, and attached to the unit (after drilling a hole through the side) but I’ve found a simple, inexpensive method that works flawlessly. This weekend I had a lot of fun smoking 50lbs of perfect brisket in my La Caja China.

Here’s a free PDF on “How to smoke briskets on La Caja China from my cookbook, “La Caja China Cooking”, that will walk you through smoking a perfect brisket, both with the electric smoke unit, and “manually”, as well as recipes for creating an amazing dry rub and mop sauce especially for Texas brisket!

Also, I have several more Caja-related posts if you’re interested. Take a look at the “BBQ & Foodie Stuff” category on the right.

If you have any questions, let me know!

Oh, and you can find this, and many more, step-by-step recipes in my cookbook, La Caja China Cooking, as well.

Happy Smokin’

Chef Perry

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