La Caja China: How Much Hog is enough?

•November 14, 2013 • Leave a Comment

How To Roast A Pig by Tom Rea gives us a few tips and tricks on how to use your Caja China Roasting box and what you will need. Some of those who have never cooked with La Caja China can have some issues trying to understand how much is too much and how much is enough. Don’t over think it, this is probably the easiest thing to remember. When buying a whole hog for roasting you need to order 2 pounds (905 g) of meat ( not including the weight of the head) per person. Really, it is that simple, and you do not have to worry about the weight of the head because whoever you are ordering from will be able to accurately guesstimate the weight of a pig without the head for you. 

Once cooked and removed from the bones, this will provide roughly 8 ounces (225 g) of meat per person. But, when ordering meat, it is always best to get a few extra portions to ensure that everyone can eat his or her fill and you can still have some meat remaining for sandwiches the next day.

What should I ask for when I order? To order a pig for spit roasting, simply ask for a whole dressed pig in the weight you require. It is up to you whether you wish to have the head on or off. But, by removing it you are missing out on the amazing pig cheeks that will have confit in their own fat, making them succulent, flavorful, and best pieces of meat in you roast.

If your pig is too big for your pig roaster all you will need to do is remove the bottom of the legs and the head. Use a sharp heavy knife like a cleaver and a sterilized hacksaw to cut through the bones. 

When your going to prepare a whole pig roast your going to need some equipment. Most of the basic tools required will already be sitting in your kitchen. But, there are some important tools that will definitely some in handy as the cooking begins. No need to go overboard but as long as you have the essential equipment laid out in this section you will have everything you need to get the job done. 

Image

 

 

Basic essential tools include:

- Disposable Razor

- Temperature probe with a heat-resistant cable 

- Clean and sterile prep table large enough to fit your mitts ( you will be handling scorching hot metal)

- Tongs 

- Slide- out utility knife

- Meat fork

- Sharp kitchen knife

- Knife sharpener

- Refrigerator large enough to fit your hog in

- Roll of 16- gauge ( or higher) steel wire

- Pliers with wire cutting tool

- Large disposable aluminum pans or trays

- Metal bin suitable for disposing of ash as you cook

- When using charcoal as a heat source: 

- Second set of tongs to move coals 

- Small metal shovel (suitable for removing ash and moving coals)

- Spray bottle filled with water

Well worth it but not essential tool include:

- Latex disposable gloves

- Apron

- Kitchen Towels

Hope this was helpful!! For more information or any questions feel free to contact us at 888-272-7629 or shop our products at www.shoplatintouch.com to prepare for your Caja China roasting this holiday.

Email: thelatintouch@gmail.com

Facebook: Latin Touch Products

Twitter: @cajachinasales

Pinterest: Caja China Grill Masters

Caja China Roasting: Salt Crusted Prime Rib

•November 5, 2013 • Leave a Comment

One of the best recipes for a Prime Rib by Perry P. Perkins. What better way to celebrate the holidays then by trying something a little different. The traditional preparation for a standing rib roast is to rub the outside of the roast with salt and seasonings and slow-roast with dry heat. A prime with La Caja China is a great option and with a slightly different smoked taste. When cooking with a Caja Asadora roasting box the meat comes out incredibly savory using a slow roasting process. All you’ll need to make this recipe is:

1 1/2 C coarsely ground pepper

2 head of garlic, peeled

4 tbs smoked paprika powder

2-16-pound prime rib roasts (6 bones)

1 C kosher salt

1 C fresh rosemary 

1 1/2 C olive oil

In a food processor, combine the salt, pepper, garlic cloves, rosemary and paprika, and process until fine. Add olive oil and pulse to form a paste. Pat the rib roast dry with a paper towel or napkin.

Place the prime rib roasts on a cutting board, bone-side up and rub each with 1 tablespoon of the salt paste.

Pack the prime rib roasts on a cutting board, bone-side up and rub each with 1 tablespoon of the salt paste.

Pack the salt paste all over the fatty surface of both roasts, pressing to help it adhere.

 Let the prime ribs stand at room temperature for 2 hours. 

Insert meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of beef, not resting in fat or touching bone.

Place disposable pans beneath the Caja China rack to catch the drippings, tent ribs loosely with foil, and close the box.

Add 16 lbs. of charcoal for model #1 or 20 lbs. for model #2 or semi-pro box, divided into two piles, and light up.

At 30 minutes, spread coals over surface. Cooking time starts now.

At 1 hour ( cooking time), lift the lid and quickly baste the roasts, and re-tent the foil. Dump excess ashes, close La Caja China and add another 10 lbs. of unlit coals.

After 2 hours (cooking time), baste again, remove the foil, and close the box to brown the top of the roasts.

Cook until rib roasts reach an internal temperature of 120 degrees F. Then remove the foil and brown 10 to 15 minutes longer.

Remove the roasts from La Caja China, cover with aluminum foil, transfer the roasts to a large carving board, and let the meat rest for 30 minutes.

Remember, the rib roast will continue to cook as it sets. The temperature will rise from 125 degrees F to 130-135 degree internal temperature ( medium rare) at 15 to 20 minutes. If allowed to rest as long as an hour, the temperature will rise even higher.

Carefully lift the salt crust off the meat and transfer to a bowl. Brush away any excess salt.

To remove the roast in one piece while keeping the rib rack intact, run a long sharp carving knife along the bones, using them as your guide.

Carve the prime rib roast 1-inch thick and serve, passing some of the crumbled salt crust as a condiment.

These Cajun Microwaves will have you wondering why you don’t cook with a Caja China for every special occasion. More Great Recipes to come! Join us on Facebook and Twitter for all the goings on (events, contests, podcasts, etc.) We love to hear from you and exchange ideas! Have a wonderful holiday season, and happy roasting!

 

Spit Roasting

•October 22, 2013 • Leave a Comment

There are many ways to roast a whole pig. Those of you that have tried out La Caja China or have seen it being used know that this way of roasting is as close to perfect as you can get, but if you are looking for something a little different a Spit Roaster is the way to go. The key to this cooking style is the rotation. Rotation during cooking is very is important for many reasons, the most obvious of reasons would be that it evenly distributes the heat over the meat. The second is that the rotation causes the meat to baste itself during the cooking process which helps to keep the meat moist.

When you are looking for a spit rotisserie you have to put into consideration the ease of use. You don’t want to buy a product that you are going to regret purchasing the minute you start to cook with it. The clear winners for this argument are the electric and gas spit rotisseries. These allow you to have complete minute-by-minute control over the heat that is emitted at the turn of a dial. Cooking with a Spit rotisserie is a great alternative because it can feed a lot of people in comparison to any barbecue or a buffet. You have the option of using electric or gas and you have complete control over distribution of heat with the amount of coal or the intensity of the burner that you have underneath each area. This allows you to slow cook tough areas and quickly cook the tender areas of the carcass. This style of cooking does take a while but the process and hours are definitely worth it.

One of the best Spit Rotisseries we have to offer is the Spit Rotisserie/ Electric measuring at 52″ inches in length x 23″ inches in width. This rotisserie comes equipped with a heavy duty electric motor. It also comes with a one year warranty guarantee from the manufacturer. Other components include: 9/16 Stainless Steel Skewer with 2 removable hooks, 18 Gauge Steel Base, 7 foot motor cord with on/off switch, 3 position motor mounts, and removable grease collector. This specific product has been on the market for thirty-nine years and is still one of the best.

Spit Rotisserie / Electric 52"

For those looking to cook a larger pig we also have a Spit Rotisserie Stainless Steel 100 lbs. This product is 51″ inches in length and 22″ inches in width. It is UL Approved Motor tested for up to 100 lbs of meat. The components included are: a spit rod which is  51″ inches in length, 4 RPM-S motor speed with all metal gears, stainless steel rotisserie construction, two stainless cooking grills for up to 500 square inches of cooking capacity, spit forks, a spine hook for stability, wheels for easy portability, and stainless wind shield to reduce charcoal usage and add flavor. Also a one year warranty on motor and all parts.

 Spit Rotisserie Stainless Steel 100 lbs

The time of the year is coming!! Join us during the holidays with this popular cultural roasting tradition. Feel free to send us pictures or messages including your memorable roasting experiences. For more information please contact us at 888-272-7629.

Email: thelatintouch@gmail.com

Facebook: Latin Touch Products

Twitter: @cajachinasales

Pinterest: Caja China Grill Masters

Which La Caja China or Caja Asadora is Right for You?

•October 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment

How do you know which Caja China is best for you?  This famous Roasting Box has only been around for a few years now. In the old days traditional Cubans would dig a hole in the ground, lay the pig out, and place the coals on a rack right on top, but that process can be very time consuming and definitely a little messy.  The first Caja China style Roasting Box was made in 1987 and the idea and designs for these traditional this traditional Latin cooking style have come a very long way. The most economical Chinese Box, which is very popular for personal use would be the Caja China style Roasting Box for up to a 70 lb pig roast. This is a professional great style for beginners that are looking to cook a little more often for a smaller family gathering or special event.

Image

Now for those of you who are looking to jump into something a little bigger and also a great quality pig roaster the best choice for you may be La Caja China #2 we like to refer to this Cajun Microwave as THE BIG BOY! It comes lined with aluminum and can cook up to a 100 lb live pig and much more. They are extremely durable and will last a lifetime with the proper protection and care. This China Box is as good as any top of the line pig roaster out there without having to completely empty your pockets. Some Caja China’s can cost up to $1,500 so this is a great product at an amazingly affordable price. Each of these China Boxes comes with all the necessary components such as: a charcoal pan and grid, large dipping pan, 2 stainless steel racks, 4 stainless steel “S” hooks, 4 front wheels for easy mobility, 2 large steel handles, syringe for marinating, and a detailed instruction manual. For those who run a restaurant, catering company, hotel, or other establishment that would like to spice up their cuisine and offer guests an event that is fresh and unique, as well as delicious. This model may be best suited for your needs. With the exception of our aluminum exterior SP-150 & SP-300 models, it is the most economical way to roast up to 100 lbs. with mouth watering results every time. 

Image

 

If your not really interested in cooking a pig these options can still be a great fit for you for any occasion. These Caja China’s can cook whole chickens, racks of ribs, a small lamb, or you have the option of cooking different types of meat at the same time. These styles are the most common on the market and are useful for any of your roasting needs. A perfect example of a grill that is designed and known for something other than pork would be the La Caja China #3. This model holds up to about 18 lbs, and is most commonly used for turkey, pork shoulders, chickens, or duck. This is a great unit for those who may not have the room to store a full size 48 x 24″ Roasting Box but still enjoy the delicious results. The dimensions of this roaster are 28″ L x 14 1/2″ W x 9″ interior depth.  

So in the end, whether you are a backyard griller, a large scale caterer, or someone who has grown up with the Caja China in your house, there is a Roasting Box that meets your needs! Please feel free to contact us with any questions. We don’t just distribute these grills, we use them! (And quite a bit, I may add.) So feel free to reach out via phone, email, or social media. We look forward to hearing from you! And here’s to an amazing Holiday season…

Email: thelatintouch@gmail.com

Facebook: Latin Touch Products

Twitter: @cajachinasales

Pinterest: Caja China Grill Masters

 

Caja China roasting tradition

•May 29, 2013 • Leave a Comment

With father’s day approaching my family is getting ready to celebrate another holiday with the typical pig roast in our La Caja China. It seem’s that every holiday is an excuse to get together and enjoy some delicious food and drinks in my family…Christmas Eve or Noche Buena as we call it, New Years Eve, Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, 4th of July, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day…I think you get the point. That is not to mention the birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and baby showers that our roasting box makes an appearance at, it is no wonder why each house in my family circle has their very own caja asadora

This tradition of family gatherings over a pig roast stems back from our lovely homeland of Cuban. Roasting a 50 Lb pig was an easy way to feed a lot of family and friend’s during special celebrations, pair it with rice and black beans, fried plantains (maduros), yuca and salad and you have a lot of happy people.

Image

When my family migrated to Miami, FL the traditions came with them. As I grew up I have many, many memories that include lacajachina, so many in fact that I feel like it is part of the family! This year I think I might get my dad a new roasting box and I thought what better day than Father’s Day, except this will not be any regular roasting box…I am going to have it personalized with our family name on the side of the box (replacing the logo in the picture below), I think it’s time to make it a legit part of the family. I am sure my uncles are going to be jealous but hey, this always makes for great family gatherings! 

Image

June 16th is Father’s Day so I am giving you a heads up if it slipped your mind. Take care of your dad’s on this special day and maybe you can give him a gift that will start a new family tradition.

Happy Roasting!

Restaurants using La Caja China equals more profit

•April 17, 2013 • Leave a Comment

If you are in the restaurant business then you know business can be tough with need to constantly keep customers satisfied with your food and service in order to make your business successful. A new trend among many executive chef’s is bringing La Caja China into their establishment. A growing number are reaching out to us and order our roasting box to use in their restaurants, hotels, and catering services.

Image

Whether using it for a special occasion such as an outdoor festival or holiday held at their restaurant, or for a weekly or monthly pig or lamb roast, they know this small investment will keep the patrons coming back for more.

The Caja China, or China Box is a versatile box and if it lands in the hands of a smart restaurant owner / executive chef then it can make magic in their establishment. Roasting a whole pig is the most common use for the cajun microwave but I have been seeing chef’s really think outside the box and cook all sorts of meals within this box, appealing to a variety of pallets. Pork shoulders, ribs, whole chickens, ducks…etc.

Image

The great thing about this is that you can cook a greater amount at one time which cuts down the waiting time for the guests in getting their food; I don’t know about you but when I am hungry I want my food. In all reality, this will allow the chefs to manage their backroom more efficiently and the manager will have a happy front of the house that will definitely bring them back for more.

An investment in lacajachina is a smart move allowing for versatility in the menu that will always have your guests coming back for more. Increasing foot traffic will ultimately increase your profit and before you know it that caja asadora will have surpassed it’s initial investment.

I challenge you as a restaurant owner and chef to think outside the box and start cooking inside the box. Happy roasting!

Image

How do I cook a pig in that?

•April 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

So the date is set and you have about 40 people coming over to celebrate…time for a pig roast! Question is, how should we roast it? In La Caja China? In a spit rotisserie?  Lets delve into the different cooking methods so that you can see which one suits you best. Regardless of your choice, at the end of the day the results will be a delicious meal and a successful party!

China Box 70-80 lb from Latin Touch

This Caja China style Roasting Box from Latin Touch roasts up to a 70-80 whole pig.

Let’s start with the Roasting Box or Caja Asadora (also known as a Cajun Microwave in some areas.) This is a wooden box that is lined on the inside with either galvanized steel or aluminum depending on the model you choose. The top of the box is closed with an ash pan and charcoal grid. The charcoal rests on the top of this pig roaster, above the charcoal grid. This method allows the meat to become moist and tender within 5 hours because of the oven-like effect of the enclosed cooking area. This china box also allows for easy mobility thanks to the wheels and long handles.

So what is the actual cooking process? It is fairly simple. When buying the pig ask the butcher to butterfly it. Season your pig the night before with your favorite spices. We are partial to the Mojo Criollo marinade, which is a staple in many latin cultures.  Make sure to bring your pig back to room temperature before starting to roast. This will help ensure that your Caja China cooking times do not exceed the advertised time of 4-5 hours. Once you are ready to start cooking, place the pig between the two steel racks and secure it with the S hooks. You will place the pig skin side down inside the roasting box, then cover the box with the ash pan and charcoal grid.

You will need about 14 lbs of charcoal to start with. We recommend using a chimney starter to evenly light the charcoals before spreading out over the box.  Make sure you keep the pig covered and the coals monitored for about 3 hours, peeking ever so slightly throughout to make sure there are no hot spots. Every hour or so you will need to remove the ash and add 8-10 lbs of fresh charcoal to maintain the cooking temperature within the box. At about the 3 hour mark you are going to want some help because it is time to flip the pig. You will place the ash tray and charcoal grid on top of the long handles. Each person will grab one end of the double racks holding the pig and flip so that the skin is now facing up. This is the last leg of the cooking process. For the next hour or so, after having added your fresh coals, you will cook the skin to your desired crispiness. Once it looks ready and the temperature of the meat reads about 190 degrees you are ready to present your creation to those patiently waiting to sink their teeth in!

The LaCajachina method requires little maintenace, and is a great excuse to gather around the china box, drink some beers and have a few laughs as the pig roasts. The cooking time is definitely great, you do not have to be slaving as you cook for hours on end or waiting around 10 plus hours to eat.

cajun microwave style pig roast

Time to enjoy the fruits of your labor…

Next let’s look at the Spit Rotisserie. This method is definitely interesting to watch as you see the pig turning hours as it cooks. Once the pig is seasoned and prepared for mounting you will place it through the spit rod, securing it with the spine hook and forks. The coal is on the bottom tray and the rod is turned by an electric motor. Not much to it huh. This method is fairly easy the pig appears to basically cook itself. However, there are some drawbacks. For one, the cooking time is a lot longer, anywhere from 10 hours and up. This is a result of the heat lost to your surroundings as the pig is being cooked in the open, unlike the enclosed space of the Caja China. You will need to have a lot of appetizers and finger foods to keep your guest at bay as the wait for the main course!

This Spit Rotisserie from Latin Touch roasts up to 60 lb pig, lamb, or goat.

The other aspect of the spit rotisserie that is often overlooked is the necessity for an electrical outlet. Any time electrical components are involved, of course, there is the potential for malfunction. Be sure to purchase only high quality products, such as the rotisserie pictured above. A flawed or cheap motor can make a great party into a nightmare! Choosing the right manufacturer is key.

Either way you chose, the outcome will be delicious and your guests will be asking you when you will host the next party so they can bring their friends to sample the mouth-watering results that a well done roast will provide. The Spring is here, and Summer grilling season is around the corner. Until then, happy roasting!

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,285 other followers