Why I Love My La Caja China Most
(don’t tell the other smokers...)
~Chef Perry Perkins~
My first and foremost priority, when smoking, or any cooking, really…is the quality of the finished product. I have a lot of grills and smokers (don't get my wife started!) and the meats that I roast or smoke in my Caja is every bit as good, an usually better, that any of my other grills or smokers.
Unless I want to spend every spring hauling a bunch of cinder-blocks around, or digging pits in my yard, La Caja China is about the best value out there for roasting a one-hundred- pound pig.
I have a big pit smoker as well, and I can tell you this, you could buy 3-4 La Caja China's for the price of one of those monsters.
Ease of use
If you've ever had to flip a whole, cooked, hog on a grill, or in a pit...you'll take one look at La Caja China's "rack and hook" system, and never look back.
Not only can I flip my pigs by myself, I can flip them with one hand!
I've taken my Caja places that I wouldn't have dreamed of hauling a pit, or pellet, smoker...especially not one big enough for whole hogs. It's the star of the show at our big family campout each summer, it's cooked many a dinner in elk camp each fall, and I never take a trip to the beach without it!
Because of its size, weight, and portability, I've been able to roast pigs for friend's birthdays, their kid's graduation parties, and even a couple of weddings!
K.I.S.S. (keep it simple sucker)
Whatever male gene that guys are born with that makes them handy with tools, good at repairing things, and able to work on thier own cars...
Yeah, I didn't get ANY of them.
For a three-thumbed klutz like me, they had me at "no moving parts"...
I'm a pretty creative chef, and I'm also highly ADHD, which means I need stuff around me that can...go with the flow.
Between the variety of ways to cook with the Magic Box (roasting, smoking, grilling, rotisserie, etc.,) its versatility to cook at any range from cold smoking to high-heat searing (I hate being a slave to a dial), and the fact that I have a wide variety of smoking options (dust, pellets, chips, or chunks), depending on what I have available in the smoke flavors I want, the box is pretty easy going for a guy who misplaces his tongs 72 times a day!
There's just something about these roasting boxes that makes a party or get together more entertaining.
I've cooked for a LOT of people, in a LOT of places, and there's a camaraderie that comes with the Caja that's unique. People gather around the box, stare at the coals, sip their drinks, they drag their lawn chairs over to enjoy the heat.
We talk, we laugh, we...interact, more when I'm using the magic box, than with any of my other gear.
It's just more fun!
Tell me why you love your La Caja China...
As a third-generation chef, Perry P. Perkins focuses his love of cooking on barbeque, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine.
Perry runs the non-profit organization, MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, which teaches nutrition, shopping, and hands on cooking classes for at risk youth.
His cookbooks include La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, La Caja China Party, and the NEW “La Caja China Grill.”
You can follow the rest of Chef Perry’s cooking adventures at ChefPerryPerkins.com
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 [...]
Garlic-Ginger Chicken Thighs~Chef Perry Perkins~Active Time: 15 min. Total Time: 25 min. 2 chicken thighs, w/ skin & bone 1/2 lg. sweet onion 2 garlic cloves 1-inch ginger root 2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce 1/2 orange 1/4 tsp. black pepper vegetable oilPrepSkin [...]
In our last post we talked about the importance of directly grilling, this time, let's talk about an equally important technique for delicious, juicy grilled meat...”Indirect Grilling.”INDIRECT GRILLINGIndirect grilling is when we cooking adjacent, instead of directly over, the heat source(s).Food is placed in an area heated by the flame (you're still cooking), but not directly in contact with it.Traditional barbecue (slow-smoked meat) is [...]
As much as I love slow-smoked bbq, I love me some lovely charred grill marks on a juicy chunk on animal protein just as much.Grilling seems pretty basic right? Glowing coals + grill + meat = happiness...and sometimes you don't even need the grill!I mean, c'mon, if the Flintstones could do it how hard can it be?Well, while it's not [...]
The tradition of roasting a whole pig goes back millennia and has been practiced in cultures all over the world.In areas with large Cuban or other Caribbean populations, a pig roast is often the center of family festivities on Christmas Eve. In Hawaii it's popular to "Kalua" a pig on memorial day.Rotisserie over an open fire, roasting underground, pit smoker, and [...]
In our last post, we looked at how marinades were developed, the components (fat, acid, and seasoning) to make up a basic marinade, and the reason why marinating is a great option for BBQ and grilled meats.Now, let’s delve a little deeper and talk about how you can build on that foundation to create your own unique and amazing marinades!We’ll start [...]
Insulated Barbecue GlovesSteven Raichlen, host of the popular cooking series Barbecue University and author of the best-selling Barbecue Bible cookbook series, partnered with The Companion Group to create a fabulous line of innovative, versatile barbecue products. Use the Best of Barbecue Insulated Rubber Gloves for "pulling" (shredding) piping hot pork shoulders and other foods hot off the grill or out of [...]
~Chef Perry Perkins~Recipe from ~ La Caja China World: Roasting Box Recipes WorldwideI know, I know…everyone snickers when I talk about recipes for “leftover” roast pork…but sometimes it does happen (especially if you bag up a pound or two of the good parts before serving!)On our recent trip to Oahu, we visited Poke Stop on our food crawl. One of the [...]
La Caja China Stainless Steel Top Grills for Models #1 & #2 fits perfectly across the charcoal tray to provide a large grilling area for appetizers and more. Also can be used to heat side dishes, soups, and many other items.Personally, as someone who cooks in (and on) his La Caja China several dozen times a year, I would say [...]