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Mar 30, 2014 08:27 AM

La Caja China Pig Roast - First Timer Advice Needed

So I've been enlisted to roast a pig for Easter! We'll be doing it down in Key Largo / Tavernier at my sister's house.

Maybe about 15 - 20 people, so we don't need anything giant.

I have no equipment whatsoever. The La Caja China process sounds great, but as I said, I don't have one.

Any ideas for alternate plans (Having someone ELSE make it is NOT the option I want, as the whole idea is to do this ourselves).

I am pretty sure I can get the pig from the Sunshine Cuban Market right around MM 90, I will be verifying that today.

We can't dig a hole in the ground as it is p-rock which would require dynamite or stronger.

I wonder if someone down there rents La Caja boxes.

There's no shortage of advice on the web of course... this is a detailed step by step for example...

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  1. Haven't used them myself, but looks like these folks will rent a caja china:

    Alternatively, I've never done it myself but I've seen home-made cinder-block caja china type setups, and this looks like how it's done:

    1. I have had the pleasure of helping to carve (and consume) a La Caja China roasted pig on several occasions and wholeheartedly recommend the method if you can get your hands on one.

      Otherwise the Three Guys from Miami share a few pointers here...

      1. The caja china is exactly what you see there- plywood and sheet metal. the metal lid rests pretty snugly on top.

        Plan B - as Frod linked below, you can always build one up with cbs block, rocks, sand, etc, and either some type of lid or drawer to access the pig. These are actually a lot more prevalent.

        Alternate Plan B (BB or C?): smoke it.

        As far as caja china rules, apply your basic bbq know-how, with the understanding that the heat source is outside. Make sure you remove the ash that accumulates or it won't transmit sufficient heat. I would also make sure you incorporate marinade/seasoning to the finished product. The pig needs to absorb a lot of flavor. Lastly, when it's really sizzling, open it up and spray the skin with some vinegar or salt-water to make chicharrones. We usually pass these around while the pig finishes cooking.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Icantread

          Thanks to all for the feedback. Sadly, this event has been cancelled... instead I'm going to Savannah.

          (Side note: How can Sav be soooo close to Charleston and yet have such a massive difference in number of great restaurants?)

          In any event, all this info will be useful for the next time, and I am sure there will be one...

          1. It looks like a longer version of the china box Hella imports rents for lamb!