Sunday, March 27, 2011

La Caja China Test Q!

  The last day of winter 2011 could not come too soon. This has been one of the snowier winters I have seen since moving to the Emerald Isle of the east coast almost 15 years ago. So, to celebrate the end of winter and welcome spring, I decided to fire up the new La Caja China. This is our new addition to the outdoor cooking arsenal and I will say right off the bat, this thing is very cool!
  For this test run, the second for the Caja China, it had to be whole hog. Two weeks ago we cooked up four 8 pound pork shoulders, just to see how the unit performed. After watching numerous videos of folks roasting the entire porker, I knew there was no time to waste.
  The whole hog test was done with a smallish, 55 pounder which was injected with a combination of OJ, Pineapple juice and Tango Spice Chik N' Rib Rub. The rub was also used to coat both inside and outside before being placed into the Caja China.
  As the Caja China gets more use here in the test kitchen we will give more reviews and post a video or two as well. For now I just have to say the Caja China lives up to its billing. It is a fun unit to have and experiment with. One of the chief complaints I have read about is that the pork did not have that 'smoked' flavor like you get from a smoker. Well, I went into this knowing that the Caja China is not a smoker, and I was roasting a whole hog. There is a smoker attachment I have seen, but that might be for another time. My main goal here was to roast a pig and see if it could actually be done in 4 hours.
  Yeah Man, it can be and it turns out incredible! The taste is amazing. Following the instructions on the box or the roasting sheet available on their website results in a perfect pig! If I want some smoked pork shoulder, I will fire up the Brinkman and smoke some shoulder. If I want to roast a 75 pound pig and not spend a day and a half doing it, I will fire up the Caja China. 
  Of course, there are so many other cuts or whole animals besides whole hog that can be done this way and will be done this way. Every time we fire this baby up we will let ya know how the meal came out.
  For now, I am very pleased with the way the magic box works!
  For more info go to the following link.

  Here are a few pics from the roast. It was a great experience, and a good time was had by all. Everyone ate their fill and is now asking when the next roast will be. Soon, very soon!

Lil' Smokey Presents Our 3 Ingredient Injection.

Ready To Roast!

Inject Full Of Spicy Goodness!

Into The Caja China!

Gentlemen, Light Your Coals!

Smokey Likes!

Ready For The Turn!

Once Turned Over, Slice Into The Skin

Yeah Man! Looking Tasty!

Let's Get Ready To Eat!

Yes, I Think They Enjoy It!

Plenty For Everyone!

A Little Fire To Ward Off The Chill!

HavaBBQ 2011 Results!

  The HavaBBQ weekend in Lake Havasu was quite different from the weekends I remember as a youth growing up in that small southwestern town. The normal temps of mid seventies was replaced by 40s and 50s! The bright sun which shines so clearly most of the time was hidden behind rolling clouds which were letting loose with some rather chilly rain.
  Of course this did not dampen the spirits of the fine folks cooking chili & running their BBQs. These are a hearty group of people who love to fix up fine grub, no matter what the weather throws at them. For me it was not too bad either, back home in New York it was snowing so I was having a great weekend.
  Friday night for the chili competition the crowd was a bit thin, but the chili being served up was top notch and very tasty.
  Saturday for the BBQ competition the skies were even darker than the day before but in true Havasu spirit the crowd was quite large and everyone was bundled against the cold breezes. The wafting aroma of smoked meats was fantastic, promising good eats to all in attendance. Just as the folks running the BBQs were gearing up to serve up samples of brisket, chicken, ribs and pulled pork, the skies opened up and a cold rain started to fall. This did cause an exodus of some of the less prepared, but also did leave for me and all who braved the short lived onslaught more than our share of Great Q!
  All in all this is a very well run event and a well attended one. I will certainly be back next year, who knows, Tango Spice may even do a little cooking!
  Here are the top three finishers in this event. 
  Please go to HavaBBQ London Bridge Style for more info.

Yeah Man! Brisket Was Great!

Pulled Pork! Nice Plate Full!

Tango By The Lake!

1 Brazen BBQ
2 I.A.B 30 BBQ
3 Pellet Envy

1 Little Miss BBQ
2 Ryhthm 'n Que
3 McFrankenboo BBQ

1 Aztec BBQ
2 Pit-n-Pits BBQ

1 Smokey Bones
2 Pellet Envy
3 McFrankenboo BBQ

1 DrDesert Ridge Pitmasters
2 I.A.B 30 BBQ
3 Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ

1 The Cowboy & The Rose
2 Jay Willies Whiskey Pit
3 Big Rack BBQ

Anything Butt:
1 Bowling Over Pigs
2 Big O's BBQ 2 Hot 4 You
3 Meat, Inc.

1 Big O's BBQ 2 Hot 4 You
2 Desert Ridge Pitmasters
3 Big O's BBQ 2 Hot 4 You