Grilling on the Go
~Chef Perry Perkins~
Okay, so roasting a whole pig or lamb is pretty awesome, especially when using La Caja China makes it so easy to do, but sometimes you just want to throw something on the grill, right?
So what do you do when you just want to “throw something on” for 80-100 hungry Veterans?
Sure, there’s plenty of room on La Caja China’s grills to cook for a crowd, but it can be a little hard to get the whole rig in the back of the mini-van; and while dragging a trailer along may be worth it for the whole hog, it feels like overkill for a case of burger patties, right?
One thing I love about La Caja China, is its amazing diversity. I can bake, roast, braise, broil, smoke, and grill...and do a lot of it at once!
Recently, I was in my local Home-Depot ( I love Home Depot) and saw some all sheet-metal sawhorses. It was a beautiful moment...
I realized that these sawhorses, coupled with just the fire pan, ash rack, and top grills, and wind deflector, (you know, all the light parts) from my Caja Semi-Pro, I could create a massive, ultra-light, go-anywhere, grill to feed a crowd!
This lightweight option is perfect for adding a LOT of grilling space to an outdoor kitchen!
I got to test the theory, last Veteran’s day, when our outreach team volunteered to prepare the feast at our local Veteran’s Day Picnic.
We fed hot dogs and burgers to about 100 hungry vets. Set up and tear down couldn’t have been easier, and with a two-zone fire under both grills, I can cook 20 burgers, and 20 dogs at a one time!
Our nation’s finest were fed in quick order, and after that, all the gear was broke down and packed away in less than 10 minutes.
As a professional chef and caterer, take my word for it, that’s nothing short of a miracle!
Chef’s Note: When doing high volume grilling like this, keep a couple of charcoal chimneys going the whole time, to refresh the fire when needed. You do NOT want to tell a bunch of elderly Marines that they’ll have to wait for their supper! Also – Once you light the coals DO NOT TOUCH the sawhorses without wearing protective heat-resistant gloves, they get HOT, and stay HOT for awhile...trust me, I know!
So, whether you’re grilling burgers and dogs for your favorite little-league team, a dozen chickens for a church picnic, or a massive haul of clams and oysters on your favorite beach...this set-up makes it quick and easy to cook for a crowd.
As much as I love to “think inside the box,” sometimes it’s okay to leave the box at home and grill on the go!
~ Chef Perry
Chef Perry P. Perkins comes from a long line of professional cooks.
As a third generation chef, he focuses his love of cooking on barbeque, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine.
Perry runs a non-profit organization. MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, which teaches nutrition, shopping, and hands on cooking classes or at risk youth.
His cookbooks include La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, and La Caja China Party.