La Caja China (“the Chinese box”), a traditional cooking method recently enjoying wider use and even its own feature in the the New York Times, is essentially a large aluminum box in which large quantities of meat are slowly cooked. Coals are placed on the lid of the box above the meat, and heat slowly radiates through the box to cook the meat.
Pig Roasting with La Caja China
These roasting boxes are referred to as La Caja China grills and can also be used to roast large quantities of any type of meat, poultry or fish. Whole pigs require approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes to cook so plan ahead when you roast pork.
Roast Pig Instructions
Roasting pork in a La Caja China Box is a two stage process that yields succulent, juicy pork that falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. It’s a slow, dry cooking method, and it takes patience and will power to allow the pig to roast slowly and baste in its own delicious juices without peeking every 10 minutes to see how it’s doing. Here’s the process.
1. Lay the whole suckling pig on the bottom of the roasting rack. Place the top of the rack over the pig and secure with the S hooks. This is the roasting rack assembly and it holds the pig together as it roasts.
2. Let the metal drip pan in the bottom of the La Caja China and place the roasting rack assembly with the pig, skin-side down, on the drip pan
3. Cover the top of the box with the ash pan, and lay the charcoal grid on top of it. Build the fire with two large piles of charcoal, one on each end of the grid, about 8 lbs. in each pile. Once the coals are covered by a fine, white ash, spread them evenly over the entire grid.
4. Replenish the charcoal as it burns down to maintain a hot consistent internal temperature inside the box. Let the pig cook, undisturbed for three hours. A rich, fragrant aroma will begin to tempt you during this stage, so you may have to tie yourself to a tree to avoid peeking inside before the three hours are up.
5. Remove the ash pan and coals after three hours to turn the pig. Using heat resistant cooking gloves, flip the pig and rack assembly over so the skin side is up. Take a sharp knife and slit the skin in several places so the fat will run out and the skin will get crispy.
6. Dump the ash pan and grid, put them back on the top of the box and add another 15 pounds of charcoal. Cook the pig for an additional 45 minutes to finish cooking. You can peek during this stage, so you don’t burn the skin.
7. Unpack the pig and serve before your guests start drooling because of the aroma.
To get detailed instructions, you can now download our eBook for free. This will serve as your step by step guide on how to use your La Caja China to have a perfect feast by roasting pork!