So you've ordered your new La Caja China roasting box, received it, and are ready to get this thing built! Let us provide a few tips and hints that will help guide you on your journey to barbecue bliss, because without a well constructed hog roaster, well, there is no bliss.
I recommend separating out all of the parts to your new China Box and setting them in area where they are easily found.
You will want to begin by attaching the wheels to the Roasting Box End Panel with the holes near the bottom of each leg. The other End Panel is where the long handles will be attached. Keep in mind that you want to have a washer on each side of the wheel.
Once the wheels have been attached to the End Panel, you will want to attach the Bottom Panel (or Base) of the unit to the End Panel using four 2" bolts. Use two washers with each bolt, one on each side of the panel. After attaching one End Panel, do the same with the other End Panel at the opposite end of the Bottom Panel.
Note: Just barely finger tighten the wing nuts during initial assembly. This will make it easier to line up the remaining bolt holes.
After the End Panels have been secured to the Bottom Panel, proceed to attach both Side Panels using five 2" bolts along the bottom of each side. Again, you will want to use two washers for each bolt, one on each side of the panel.
Before attaching the three bolts that run up and down the ends of each Side Panel, you will want to attach the large metal rails (48") to the Side Panels, with the lip facing inside the unit. The lip that the rail creates will serve the purpose of holding the Ash Pan in its place, and sealing the top of the box.
Once the rails have been secured in place, insert three 2 1/2" bolts with washers to each end of the Side Panels. Again, do not secure more than finger tight.
Note: A rubber mallet is an excellent tool for tapping the rails onto the Side Panels, as well as for helping push bolts through any holes that are a little tough to align.
With the Long Rails now in place, you are ready to place the Short Rails (24") on top of each End Panel. Again, with the lip facing into the roaster.
At this point you can fully secure all the bolts on the panels. It is a good idea to go back and retighten each bolt as many as three times to ensure that no bolt loosened during the process. This will help remove the possibility of any drippings coming down the Roasting Box (also called a Cajun Microwave) during cooking.
On the La Caja China #1, #2, & #3 models, you will want to attach your Exterior Handles prior to the last step, as they are attached to the unit through the bolts on the End Panels. On the Latin Touch Caja Asadora models, the handles can be attached after as they bolt directly onto the End Panel with four additional bolts on each side.
You're almost home! All that is left at this point is to insert the racks and trays.
First, insert the Drip Tray (smaller of the two solid steel trays) at the bottom of the cooker and attach the handles through the holes provided.
Next, place the two stainless steel racks on the Drip Tray along with the S-Hooks.
The racks and hooks are what will be used to secure the pig or other meat in place.
Now, place the Ash Tray atop the unit. It should fit snuggly on the lips provided by the Long and Short Rails, pressing against the panels of the China Box and creating an enclosed cooking space below. Attach the handles as with the Drip Tray.
Lastly, place the Charcoal Grid (slightly smaller tray with expanded metal across) on top of the Ash Tray. Attach the handles, and voila...you are ready to become a true Grillmaster and family hero.
We hope these assembly instructions and tips help make your road to grilling greatness a little bit easier. Feel free to contact us any time with any questions. And remember, as our friend Perry Perkings, and the author of La Caja China Cooking: The Secret to Perfect Roasting has said, "La Caja China is not a good or a service. It's an experience." Make your experience full of joy and laughter, great conversation, and absolutely amazing food!
- Mat Masters, President
Latin Touch, Inc.