Caja China style: Tailgating Like a Big Boy.
Rule #1: Pig Roaster + Football = Tailgating Greatness.
With the turning of the leaves and the arrival of the autumn winds comes something fundamentally American…football. It’s the smell of freshly cut grass on a high school field. The sound of pads clashing and whistles being blown. The time is upon us once again. And football brings with it another American pastime…tailgating. Let us broaden your tailgating horizons, and introduce you all to what we like to call “Big Boy Tailgating,” also known as “Tailgating a La Caja China.” If this is something you have yet to experience, you are in for a treat. For those previously initiated, welcome back, and thank you for helping spread the good word when it comes to creating the most mouth-watering, delicious, and generally kick-ass way to spend your weekends…
1) Pre-Game Prep
With Caja China style tailgating, many of the same general rules of great tailgating apply. The first of which is, prep as much as you can before the tailgate. You don’t want to be doing alot of prep after arriving to the parking lot of your teams stadium. All you should need to do upon arrival is fire up your La Caja China or La Caja Asadora grill, and get cookin!
2) Bring the Home Field Advantage
Hospitality is essential to a truly great tailgating experience. A few folding chairs and tables make a big difference in how your buds will remember the experience.
3) Ice the Kicker
Ok. So I took a little liberty with that one. Make sure to have plenty of ice on hand for all the frosty beverages that will be consumed while your guests marvel at the show-stopper…your China box grill.
4) Don’t Get Flagged for Unsportsmanlike Conduct
The last thing you want is a huge mess awaiting you when returning to the tailgate spot after the game. Bring a cooler (or two if necessary) and store all your goodies before going in for kickoff. Especially important for your La Caja China, make sure the charcoals are no longer hot, and dispose of them as necessary.
5) Grill Like a Champion.
This is the last, and clearly most essential element of a historically awesome tailgating feast. And because we want your name to go down with the all-time greats, we’re going to hook you up with a recipe that will bring tears of joy to your compatriots:
North Carolina style Pig Pickin’
What ya need:
1 whole pig (about 60 lb dressed weight)
4 x 16 lb bags of Charcoal (not Match Light)
The Secret Sauce (details below)
Place 12-14 lbs. of charcoal on top of your Roasting Box, light, and allow 15-20 minutes for coals to grey evenly. Spread the coals out over the box. Butterfly the whole pig for roasting and rub down with coarse salt. Place the pig ribs up in your La Caja China or La Caja Asadora pig roaster. Allow to cook for approximately 3 hours, removing ash and adding an additional 10 lbs of charcoal every hour. Once the pig has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees or above, flip the pig to expose the skin to the heat radiating from above the box. Sprinkle salt over the skin before resealing the box. Check after 30 minutes, and every 10 minutes thereafter as necessary, until the skin has reached the desired crispness and beautiful bronze color. At this point, your whole pig should be completely cooked (180 degrees or above) and ready to be prepped to serve.
At this point we recommend removing the pig from the Caja China and allowing it to cool for about 20 minutes. After that, the meat is ready to be sliced, chopped, or pulled from the bone. Place the pulled pork in a separate tray and allow your guests to slather it in the secret sauce as their heart desires.
And as for the secret sauce, here it is…
1 gallon apple cider vinegar
1 (28 oz) bottle of ketchup
2 3/4 cups of firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Combine all the ingredients in a large pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the crushed red pepper sinks. Remove from heat.
The sauce should be bottled hot, but not boiling. Fill the bottles to within 1/2 inch of the top. To increase the heat factor, add 1/4 cup of Tabasco before cooking.
And there we have it, your complete “Tailgate Like A Big Boy: Caja China Style” toolkit.