Anyone cooking with a Caja China (Chinese Box)?

At some time this year I may do a Sportsman's Kitchen column about using a Caja China, or Chinese Box. Also called a ****-*** Microwave by my buddy and caterer Joey Landreneau. Anyone using one?


  • charlie tunacharlie tuna Posts: 730 Officer
    I have used the box on about ten whole pigs... Each time i always told myself "too much waste" ! I'm a slow learner !! It is very impressive say for a tailgate party or New Years Eve party. The hassle of getting the pig and the cost and what it yeilds isn't worth the trouble - IMO ! I would rather cook pork butts as an overall product -- cost and taste !!
  • capttommycapttommy Posts: 45 Deckhand
    Charlie...thanks...I'm thinking about trying one of the smaller ones. I've always done whole pigs in a 4x8 pit although the Caja China claims to cook them faster than the 22-24 hours it takes in a big pit or smoker. What sort of time does it take to do a whole 125-pound pig in a big Caja?
  • charlie tunacharlie tuna Posts: 730 Officer
    The "box" is nothing more than an oven !! Higher temperatures cook the pig quicker. Of course we all know "low and slow" is the way to cook pork !! The first one i cooked -- i scorched by lighting the coals with the pig in the box !! The coals should be lit elsewhere and placed on the pan - never lit on the pan ! But it still turned out great. A big problem with a large pig is how to marinate it. That takes a lot of marinate $$$ ! Big cooler-no problem -- but the cost and amounts of marinating products gets high. We did a 160 pounder in eight hours. Again, after everything is pulled from the bones -- consider the weight of the bones and the head --- it just doesn't pay.
  • doghouse1122doghouse1122 Posts: 95 Greenhorn
    Thanks Charlie t for confirming what i suspected. Been planning the whole hog thing but i will stick to the butts that i know how to do and always turn out good.
  • capttommycapttommy Posts: 45 Deckhand
    Butts are good, but what I miss when doing them is all that mix of meat from all over the pig--and lots of skin. I usually do Eastern NC BBQ with pepper/vinegar and chop the meat. Usually add most of the 'sauce' during chopping and then let the meat sit a few hours to soak up the flavors. Small/young pigs might work but like veal, they don't have the fat of the bigger animals.
  • charlie tunacharlie tuna Posts: 730 Officer
    When i lived in Hawaii, we would do the whole pigs on a rotisseries and with this method you get a terrific crispy skin because you are using very high heat and you can spritz the pig as it's cooking. So high , that if the rotisserie stops, the pig will catch on fire within two minutes. "The Box" doesn't braise the pig but moreso bakes it, where the thick skin doesn't crisp. Another option, which provides the same results, is to have a bakery cook your whole pig in their oven. The Hawaiians will fight over that skin, before you get a chance to cut any meat off the cooked pig, it is skinless !!! Ears,nose,tail -gone !
  • charlie tunacharlie tuna Posts: 730 Officer
    And notice the skin is gone !

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