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View Full Version : My first pig on the La Caja China(pron)


SmokeFan
10-15-2012, 08:39 PM
I cooked a whole pig for the first time this weekend for a party we hosted. I got a 66lb(dressed) pig, and with the help of the butcher we got it butterflied. I injected it with homemade mojo sauce, cooked in the cooker, and then glazed it using the glaze recipe from APL's book, Serious Barbecue.

The pig turned out well for my first shot at it. I cooked it for nearly 6 hours, to about 190 in the ham, and then flipped it to crisp the skin and glaze. The meat fell apart, and I was able to just grab it by hand off the pig and then chop it into portions.


For an appetizer, I made empanadas, stuffed with smoked chicken thighs, homemade sofrito, and cheese. They were awesome.

The menu was rounded out with Black Beans cooked all day in ham hocks, onions and peppers; rice; and fried plantains.

I apologize for there being no plated money pic. I was just too busy playing host.


Here's some pics:



http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj583/technobuyer/frozenpiggy1.jpg

Frozen pig as they come in a bag in a box when ordered through my butcher.

http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj583/technobuyer/DSCN2699cropped.jpg

My 6 yr old and I working on the injection.

http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj583/technobuyer/DSCN2714.jpg

Reminder...Don't give your 6 yr old the camera and tell him to take pics.

http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj583/technobuyer/DSCN2748.jpg


All injected and marinated, ready for cooking.

http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj583/technobuyer/DSCN2752.jpg

Right after the flip.

http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj583/technobuyer/IMG_3968.jpg

Ready to get carved up!

Thanks for looking!

IamMadMan
10-15-2012, 08:42 PM
Congratulations, Fine looking pig.

Boshizzle
10-15-2012, 08:44 PM
Good job!

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=506&pictureid=6577

MS2SB
10-15-2012, 08:44 PM
Looks great. Thanks for sharing.

Sent from my SGH-i917 using Board Express

OutlawSwine
10-15-2012, 09:10 PM
That looks rockin good!

R2Egg2Q
10-15-2012, 09:17 PM
Nice job!

NS Mike D
10-15-2012, 09:28 PM
man that looks good. Love the side dishes as well. this thread makes Buenos Diaz BBQ smile.

zakdk
10-16-2012, 05:00 AM
Congratulations, Fine looking pig.:mod:

bluetang
10-16-2012, 07:08 AM
Most excellent!

chad
10-16-2012, 07:15 AM
Good job and thanks for sharing!

MikeR
10-16-2012, 07:28 AM
Good looking stuff. Just curious, what fuel and how much did you use?

jestridge
10-16-2012, 07:40 AM
Good looking hog. I was wondering what is the depth of the box and the fire pan.

NickTheGreat
10-16-2012, 07:43 AM
Outstanding :icon_smile_tongue:

I think I'm going to add "whole pig" to my cooking bucket list :cool:

Shooter1
10-16-2012, 07:46 AM
Great Job! The sides sound great. Hope you had fun doing it, a lot of work for sure.

No_it's_not_Mooing
10-16-2012, 07:51 AM
Good looking stuff. Just curious, what fuel and how much did you use?

x2. Looking good there!!

SmokeFan
10-16-2012, 08:52 AM
Good looking stuff. Just curious, what fuel and how much did you use?

Thanks! It took 6.5 bags of Kingsford Original Briquettes. These were the 13.9 lb bags. Kinda pricey cook really, but we fed about 30 people that night, so amortized over the number of people served it wasn't so bad.

SmokeFan
10-16-2012, 09:38 AM
Good looking hog. I was wondering what is the depth of the box and the fire pan.

The inside of the box measures 44" x 24" x 13". The fire pan is about 1.5" deep.

jestridge
10-17-2012, 09:27 AM
The inside of the box measures 44" x 24" x 13". The fire pan is about 1.5" deep. Thanks !!I built a proto type a few years ago and apparently the cooking box was too deep.

Big George's BBQ
10-17-2012, 09:43 AM
Very Nice I have considered getting one of those

deguerre
10-17-2012, 09:54 AM
Beautiful pig! The nicest thing about this cooker is that it's so danged affordable.

SmokerKing
10-17-2012, 10:59 AM
The inside of the box measures 44" x 24" x 13". The fire pan is about 1.5" deep.

I have a Santa Maria that I modified to do a pig like the Caja China and I just finished up on the fabrication of the ash pan and charcoal grate.

I know you said the ash pan was 1 1/2", but, isn't there a grate for the charcoal that sits in the ash pan? If so, does the grate sit directly on the ash pan or is it elevated a bit over the pan?

SmokeFan
10-17-2012, 02:13 PM
I have a Santa Maria that I modified to do a pig like the Caja China and I just finished up on the fabrication of the ash pan and charcoal grate.

I know you said the ash pan was 1 1/2", but, isn't there a grate for the charcoal that sits in the ash pan? If so, does the grate sit directly on the ash pan or is it elevated a bit over the pan?


There is a grate, and it sits directly on the ash pan.

The ash as it accumulates very definitely affects performance. I had a temp probe inside, and after 3 bags, it had dropped the temp by about 50 degrees. The directions have you dump the ash pan after the 3rd additional bag, presumably before you move on the to the crisping the skin phase. I did dump the pan after the 3rd additional bag, but had to cook for an extra hour before I did the skin thing.

After I dumped the ash pan, the temp shot right back up. That said, I think if the coals were kept further up and away from the ash pan, you might not get the heat required in the box. Just a guess though.

Team DD
10-17-2012, 02:27 PM
Where did you get the device to put the pig on? Did it come with the cooker?

Doug

SmokerKing
10-17-2012, 03:10 PM
There is a grate, and it sits directly on the ash pan.

The ash as it accumulates very definitely affects performance. I had a temp probe inside, and after 3 bags, it had dropped the temp by about 50 degrees. The directions have you dump the ash pan after the 3rd additional bag, presumably before you move on the to the crisping the skin phase. I did dump the pan after the 3rd additional bag, but had to cook for an extra hour before I did the skin thing.

After I dumped the ash pan, the temp shot right back up. That said, I think if the coals were kept further up and away from the ash pan, you might not get the heat required in the box. Just a guess though.

Thanks! Looks like I have to cut the 1" legs off my charcoal grate so it sits right on the ash pan.

I agree, a very inefficient way to "roast" a pig, but how else can a normal person do it? Won't fit in the oven.

Did you get the optional cook grate that sits over the top of the charcoal?

Do you plan on getting the bullet smoker to add a little flavor?

What temps were you seeing in the box during the cook? Stable temps?

Johnny Ca$h
10-17-2012, 06:31 PM
Pig looks good,After you flip if you cut x's in the hog's skin it will release the fat and crisp up the skin http://i377.photobucket.com/albums/oo215/sk8bord/P1000332.jpg A friend and I split the $ and bought one It has its advantages #1 Quick & Easy #2cheap #3 it will let you enjoy your party with out babysitting the pit, After the first cook I really did not like the taste of the swine(no smoke) Some of the guest and My friend raved of it but I told him if he wanted to buy me out it would not hurt my feelings! to each there own I like them smoked!http://i377.photobucket.com/albums/oo215/sk8bord/P1010563.jpg

SmokerKing
10-17-2012, 07:20 PM
La Caja China has the Bullet Smoker option.

I'll be installing mine this weekend before my pig roast. Got to have smoke flavor.

SmokeFan
10-17-2012, 07:41 PM
Where did you get the device to put the pig on? Did it come with the cooker?

Doug

The racks come with the purchase of the roaster.

SmokeFan
10-17-2012, 07:44 PM
Did you get the optional cook grate that sits over the top of the charcoal?

Do you plan on getting the bullet smoker to add a little flavor?

What temps were you seeing in the box during the cook? Stable temps?

No, I didn't get any thing additional, just the cooker. I don't plan to get the bullet smoker.

The temps I saw were in the 250 range. It really didnt seem that stable to be honest. The temp would drop off until you added another bag every hour. Then after a few bags , the ash forms a sort of insulative barrier and the overall temp drops with each bag until you dump the ash pan.

NorthwestBBQ
10-17-2012, 07:52 PM
Great whole pig cook!

SmokerKing
10-17-2012, 07:57 PM
No, I didn't get any thing additional, just the cooker. I don't plan to get the bullet smoker.

The temps I saw were in the 250 range. It really didnt seem that stable to be honest. The temp would drop off until you added another bag every hour. Then after a few bags , the ash forms a sort of insulative barrier and the overall temp drops with each bag until you dump the ash pan.

Only 250? I would have thought around 300 at least, interesting.

I wonder if you elevated the hog rack and brought it closer to the bottom of the ash pan if it would have cooked faster?

Thanks for the info.!

SmokeFan
10-17-2012, 07:59 PM
Pig looks good,After you flip if you cut x's in the hog's skin it will release the fat and crisp up the skin

Yup. I forgot to score the skin at first, then remembered about 20 minutes after I flipped it. I went back and scored the X's which you can barely see. But it was too late, much of the skin really didn't turn out as well as I had hoped.

SmokeFan
10-17-2012, 08:02 PM
Only 250? I would have thought around 300 at least, interesting.

I wonder if you elevated the hog rack and brought it closer to the bottom of the ash pan if it would have cooked faster?

Thanks for the info.!

TBH, I think I might have had some probe error going on there. The temp surprised me as well. They say it is almost like a slight pressure cooker in there as it's kinda sealed up. How much that would contribute to the faster cook times I'm not sure.

No_it's_not_Mooing
10-18-2012, 10:06 AM
TBH, I think I might have had some probe error going on there. The temp surprised me as well. They say it is almost like a slight pressure cooker in there as it's kinda sealed up. How much that would contribute to the faster cook times I'm not sure.

Which probes were you using. why did you wrap foil around them?

Just came from the main site where it stated 325* cooking temp range for the box.

SmokeFan
10-18-2012, 02:08 PM
Which probes were you using. why did you wrap foil around them?

Just came from the main site where it stated 325* cooking temp range for the box.

325* would make a lot more sense. I've been having problems with that one probe for a while. It seems to start out ok, but over the duration of a long cook it grows increasingly inaccurate.

As for the foil, I wrapped it to protect it from flare ups and such during my cooks on the BGE. I read about people doing it, and it seemed something easily done that could protect the probes.

GL-BBQ
10-22-2012, 07:21 AM
looks good