Many of you love the experience of cooking with a Caja China Style roasting box but don’t have a clue when it comes to cleaning and maintaining one. If you want this box to last you a lifetime there are a few things you should know. I found that Perry P. Perkins an amazing chef and Caja China roasting expert knows what he’s talking about in his book La Caja China Cooking: The secret to perfect roasting. Here’s what he had to say:
CLEAN UP & MAINTANENCE
Grill Grates – flip them over and set them directly onto the remaining coals after cooking. While you’re enjoying dinner, any residual gunk will be carbonized and easy to scrub off with a wire brush (if you’re a gadget geek, like me, check this out!)
Internal Meat Racks – These don’t really get all that messy, but for easiest clean up, spray your grates with a Pam-style spray just before coming in contact with the meat. Also, the sooner you scrub them down after cooking, the easier it will be.
Smoking/Cooking Chamber – Line with heavy foil to ease cleaning. I scrub the interior of the box with hot soapy water after every use, then spray with a 50/50 bleach water solution and allow to air dry before replacing the lid. If you have a semi-pro, plug the drain hole and pour several gallons of VERY hot water into the chamber, scrub and drain.
Things to remember for a successful pig roast
1. Bring the pig as close to room temp as possible, before you start cooking.
Most pigs come flash-frozen to 10 below zero, and it can take 2-3 days in a cool room to even thaw them.
Putting a cold or partially frozen pig in the box to cook can double or triple your cook time and amount of coal, believe me…I know, lol.
2. Do not cover the pig, even loosely, with foil until the pig is nearly done (if you smell burning meat, you can take a one-time pass on #3) then, tent only the trouble spots in foil, loosely.
The reflective nature of the foil will seriously block the heat penetration and, again, prolong cooking time.
3. Do not peek! Once cooking has started do not lift the lid for any reason, except per the instructions.
I even bought a huge metal ash scoop – it’s available on my Amazon store, or you’re local
Home Depot – to keep from ever lifting the lid except to flip the pig.
Lifting the lid even once or twice can really screw up your cook time.
4. Besides leftover storage, those 2-gallon zips are great for pulling over your welding gloves so they don’t get all goopy when the tongs just aren’t cutting it.
5. Be prepared with a place to dump hot ashes. I tend to forget this about 50% of the time, until
I’m standing with a scoop full of hot ashes, lol.
6. The other thing I tend to forget about in advance is where I’m going to put 80 lbs of
smokin’ hot pig when I pull it out of the box.
Have a sturdy table ready, topped with the plywood, which you’ve wrapped in plastic
(Garbage bags work great.)
7. Since you’re adding coals every 60 minutes, a one-hour kitchen timer comes in handy.
8. Assign a photographer/videographer if you want pictures, you’ll forget to do it yourself, and you’ll be too busy anyway.
9. Get a pellet smoker box and use it, it will really enhance the flavor of the finished meat.
I hope these tips were helpful! Feel free to send us pictures or messages including your memorable roasting experiences. For more information please contact us at 888-272-7629.
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