Nothing can get the appetite going than seeing a perfectly roasted pig as part of the meal spread. However, not a lot of people can afford to spend time watching over a whole pig roasting on a spit. It's a good thing there are different types of roasting equipment now available on the market.
The La Caja China Pig Cooker has recently been making waves among chefs and amateur cooks alike. Imagine being able to evenly roast a whole pig in less than 5 hours – with meat falling off the bone when it's done.
Does the La Caja China Cooker make the cut? Let’s find out.
What is the La Caja China Pig Cooker?
Although it has the word "China" in its name, the La Caja China cooker was invented by a Cuban named Roberto Guerra. The idea came to Roberto when his father told him about a similar contraption that was being used in Cuba's Chinatown. Since his father saw it in Chinatown, he assumed that it was invented by Chinese workers who migrated to Cuba in the 1800's – thus the word "China" in its name.
The La Caja China Pig Cooker is as simple to use as it looks. Basically, it's a wooden box that has Marine Aluminum Gauge pans at the top and bottom where you place charcoal and wood pellets. The whole pig is then placed inside the box with the top charcoal pan serving as cover. The heat, which builds up and circulates inside the box, is what cooks the pig in an even manner.
Features and Advantages of the La Caja China
The La Caja China Pig Cooker is portable despite its size. It can easily fit into the back of an SUV or pickup truck when the handles are removed. This makes it perfect for cookouts in the park or to take on a camping trip. Speaking of size, the cooker can hold up to 110 pounds of a pig's live weight. Now, if it can hold that much weight, imagine how many chickens, rib racks, butts, and shoulders you can cook in one go.
Aside from this, the cooker is also very easy to use. Once the pig or any other type of meat is loaded onto the cooking space, you only need to wait for it to be done before serving. There is also no need to add any more charcoal because the exact amount is placed onto the pans as indicated in the manual, the box will have enough heat to cook the pig through and through. Besides, the main rule in roasting is no peeking as that only releases the heat inside the box and results in uneven cooking. The La Caja China cooker is also pretty flexible as far as use goes. Not only will you be able to slow cook a whole pig, lamb, or several chickens but you can also use it as a La Caja bbq grill. Users can barbeque rib racks, grill burger patties, corn, and a whole lot more.
Lastly, it's safe and very easy to clean. However, you need to be a bit careful during the summer to avoid any accidental fires that could spark up while you are roasting pinky the pig. Although the box is made of plywood and is not likely to cause a fire, it's better to be safe than sorry. When it comes to the clean up on the other hand, all parts that need to be cleaned are detachable. You can use a steel brush to scrub off the buildup on the grill and drip pans to ensure each part is thoroughly clean.
Drawbacks of the La Caja China Pig Cooker
The downside is that the handles and ash pans of the La Caja China can come off too easily when handled. Although it's not a major drawback, it can be a bit of a problem if you suddenly decide to move your box from its current position while you have something cooking inside. Another thing that can prove to be a disadvantage is its size. It goes without saying that the larger the roaster or grill, the more charcoal or pellets are will be required to evenly cook the meat. As such, some resources can be wasted if you only cook say, 5 pounds of meat at a time and not a whole pig or several racks of ribs at once. Unless you plan to cook meat in large quantities, this may not be the best grill/ roaster to purchase. Lastly, it doesn't come with a built-in thermometer so users would need to purchase one just to be able to monitor the temperature inside the box.
How Much would It Cost You to Own One?
The La Caja China Pig Cooker retails at $349.99 online. It may seem like quite a bit of money at first glance, but keep in mind that this little pig roaster is extremely durable. It can last 15 to 18 years with proper care and besides imagine how much it would cost to get a catering company to cook a whole pig for you - loads more !
The La Caja China Pig Cooker in a Nutshell
All in all, the La Caja China Pig Cooker is highly recommended to anyone who loves to roast or barbeque. If you don't usually cook for too many people, you can get the smaller version which can hold a maximum of 70 lbs. This product is a great buy for people who love to host barbeque parties because of its size. Cooking time is shorter but the quality of the food won't, by any means, be compromised. Besides, no other cooker will allow you to cook a whole pig that has a live weight of 110 pounds, not to mention in a short amount of time. The customer service provided by La Caja China is also quite impressive. The reps are very friendly and are more than willing to answer any questions about the cooker. If you need help to get started, La Caja bbq recipes are available all over the internet so you need only search for the right recipe and start cooking right away.
I'm getting hungry just talking about this ...Anyone out there want to share their experiences with the La Caja? Drop us a line below.
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