An Introduction to Caja China Stlye Roasting Box Cooking

A Caja China style Roasting Box is every grill master’s dream come true. How else can you roast a 70-80 lb. pig in about 4 hours and have meat that is fall off the bone  tender? Fear not. It can be done. Our goal is for you to be confident going into your first roast, not only because you know what to do, but what to expect when cooking in  your new Roasting Box.  While your new La Caja China style Roasting Box can be used to cook many types of meats, we are going to focus on the number one reason people  own a Caja China: to roast pigs.  A pig roast is not just a meal. It is an event. It is a gathering of friends and family. It is the scent of the juices mingling and rising from the pig roaster, and the sight of that perfectly bronzed hog being placed on the table for carving. I’m getting hungry just writing this! So, without further ado, lets get down to business…

Once your new Caja China pig roaster has been assembled, you will want to familiarize yourself with its components. On the inside of the Caja China box you will find your drip pan. This is used to hold the juices that fall from the pig while roasting. In our house, we like to drizzle these drippings over the pig once it has been removed from the Roasting Box. On top of the drip pan is where your two stainless steel racks are placed. These racks are used to hold the pig in place during cooking. Two stainless steel “S” hooks come with your box, and they are used to hold the racks together and secure the pig. Images of how the racks are used can be found on our Caja China Cooking Times and Instructions page. The pig should be mounted ribs up on top of the bottom rack, and below the top rack. The “S” hooks then secure the racks together. Once the pig is mounted, your Caja China pig roaster is ready to be sealed. The longer pan that comes with your La Caja China style box is the ash pan. When sealing your roaster box, the ash pan goes on first. Directly on top of the ash pan goes the charcoal grid. When the pig roasting box is sealed, you are ready to place fresh charcoal on the grid. See our complete chart outlining how much charcoal is needed for different size pigs on our Caja China Cooking Times and Instructions page. You will want to start with 15-20 lbs. of charcoal.  Be sure to spread the charcoal on the grid. The center of the Cuban roast box is where the most heat will gather, so you will want to be sure to distribute the heat more evenly by moving enough charcoal out along the edges of the Caja China pig box. Once it has been lit and is graying evenly you can begin timing the roasting process. A great accessory to your pig roaster, also called La Caja Asadora (Spanish for “Roasting Box“) is the 24″ x 16” top grill shown here…

"La Caja China style Roasting Box top grill"

La Caja China style Roasting Box w/ Top Grill

The Caja China Top Grill allows you to grill steak, chicken, ribs, fish, or anything else you like while the main course is roasting inside the box. Above, we roasted top sirloin steaks along with shrimp and chicken skewers marinated in our Mojo Criollo Marinade (talk about some delicious appetizers!). After each hour you will remove the charcoal grid and allow all the ash to fall to the ash pan. Try not to leave the Caja China pig roaster uncovered any longer than necessary to avoid losing heat. Using a remote thermometer to monitor the temperature is also a great way to go. You will want to maintain the temperature within the meat at about 180 degrees F. Once the ash pan has been placed back on the La Caja China style Roasting Box, you want to place the charcoal grid back on top and add 10 lbs. of fresh charcoal. You will repeat this process every hour for the first three hours, meaning the charcoal should be added twice after the initial batch. At about the three-hour mark you will want to check the pig. This is where you decide whether you want to flip the pig and crisp the skin for the last 30-45 minutes. Scoring the skin with a knife will allow even more of the delicious juices from the fat to be rendered and become part of the cooking process. After the 30-45 minutes, check on the pig again. If the pig is a wonderful bronze color and the skin cracks away from the meat, congratulations! You have just successfully completed your first pig roast with a Caja China Roasting Box grill! And once you taste the true flavor of pork from your roast box, or Cajun Microwave as it’s called in Louisiana, you’ll wanna do it all over again and again. For Caja China recipes check out our Caja China / Caja Asadora recipes page for some absolutely delicious ideas.


Let the party begin!

For the best price on a Roasting Box (also called “Caja Asadora“) you can visit where you can purchase one for under $200 plus shipping.


~ by mmasters305 on October 15, 2010.

4 Responses to “An Introduction to Caja China Stlye Roasting Box Cooking”

  1. I had no idea how a caja china worked before reading your post. This is an excellent resource. I see a caja china – or Cajun Microwave – possibly becoming part of my family’s Thanksgiving tradition, in fact. I am interested in buying one soon, but after reading your article. Thanks for the “firefighter proof” instructions (those of us who have worked in the department for any length of time know the true value of simple, easy-to-follow instructions!) I’m going to add a link to your blog on my homepage.

    –Cam Suarez-Bitar.

  2. Glad that we have been able to expand your knowledge on the Roasting Box and Caja China style cooking. Also, being a subscriber to your blog on “Communications in Sports Business,” I want to let everyone who visits us know just how intelligent and informative it is. We’ll be posting a link to it here. Looking forward to sending you guys your new roaster!

    -Mat Masters.

  3. I recently saw the Caja China in a couple of youtube videos and knew right away that I had to have one. Ordered it and assembled it, and it was very easy to put together. So far have done several pork shoulders, which came out amazing.
    This weekend though is the big one, going whole hog for the first time!

    • Well done Joe! The La Caja China model shown in the youtube videos is a great product. Thanks for following and joining the conversation! We hope our posts will help make your roasting experiences the absolute best they can be!

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