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Want to smoke a pig in Caja China

 
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The Jamester



Joined: 18 May 2017
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu May 18 17 10:39 pm    Post subject: Want to smoke a pig in Caja China Reply with quote

Hi all,

First post here so take it easy on me. Doing a cook for my father in laws bday. Borrowed my buddies La Caja China. Cutting a hole in it and hooking up smoke pistol and going to pump apple . Pig is about 35 lbs from Circle C Farms here in SW Fla.

I like the caja china but I think the typical cuban way of cooking the pig is way too bland. My buddy usually just pumps it full of mojo and orange juice and thats it. Don't need 25 pounds of bland pork. So I want to do it the right way. Done lots of smoking for years but never done a whole pig (usual smoking rig is a L BGE).

The caja china has the spreader and I had the spinal cord removed and hip bones cut so it lays flat.

What should I do to make it as tasty as possible and also ensure the crispy skin is at it's apex tastiness? I want to inject it too.

Looking forward to your thoughts to ensure excellence. I'll post pics of the process.
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k.a.m.
BBQ Mega Star


Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 25981
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Thu May 18 17 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the ring The Jamester, looking forward to seeing some pics of your cooks. Smile
FYI a 35 lb pig will not yield 25 lbs of meat. I did a 70 lb pig and the yield was about a turkey roasting pan full once pulled.
The reason I do not like La Caja's is exactly what your'e worried about and that is bland meat it just does not set well with me. Sure you can inject all sorts of things into it but now your just flavoring pork with alternatives. Your smoke idea is a good way to ensure you get some smoke flavor into the pork personally I do not even inject Butts because I want to taste smoked pork not flavor enhanced.
Here is a link that may help you.
http://thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22364
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The Jamester



Joined: 18 May 2017
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu May 18 17 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. Yeah, I just have the one BGE and had to figure out a way to do a pig so Caja China was the available option. I think with the smoke gun, it should be acceptable. What was missing last time was flavor. I don't think any method of smoking past adding smoke will add more or less flavor to the meat.

With that said, just looking for some ideas. Had read the link provided and its a good one.

What I'm thinking right now is to inject with apple juice, garlic powder and onion powder. Then I'll rub the inside of it with a standard bbq rub.

Any thoughts on how to get flavor under the skin and how to ensure the skin is delicious?
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 25981
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Fri May 19 17 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish I could help but that to me is the down side to whole hogs skin on. The skin is such a barrier that the meat while moist has very little in flavor to offer me. I have told folks if you want pulled pork just let me smoke you a load of butts you will be better off. Laughing
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brutus1964
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Joined: 01 Apr 2014
Posts: 519
Location: Pinson, Tn.

PostPosted: Fri May 19 17 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the smoke ring. It is my understanding that the La Caja is a roaster and the heat or coals are on the outside of the cooker. My opinion would be that this would be similar to roasting a pig in an oven. I think you could make some pretty good BBQ Pork on your BGE. If you need 25 lbs. that may not work on the BGE. How many people are you wanting to feed? As KAM said, you can get great BBQ from butts. As far as getting flavor into the meat, smoke is all you really need. I have cooked several whole hogs and I simply rubbed them with salt and cooked them skin side up with Hickory. Once I turned the hog I would baste it occasionally in its own juice and maybe add a little vinegar or "mop" sauce. If you are cooking for 50 people or less you can probably do it on your BGE. Feel free to ask more questions as needed.
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jess
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Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 1743
Location: Fl.

PostPosted: Fri May 19 17 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMO A 35# pig will give you 12-15 of meat at best.
Since a Cuban casket is a sealed environment adding smoke could make for a "stale smoke" taste.
I don't see how a pig marinated for 24 hr. in mojo could be bland.
I hope you have a understanding buddy if you are putting holes in his $2-400. cooker. Best of luck with your cook...
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The Jamester



Joined: 18 May 2017
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri May 19 17 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a closed air situation but my thought is to smoke for the last hour before flipping both times so that I vent the smoke when I flip the pig. So in the 4 hour cook, it's only getting smoked for two hours. I don't know though that a stale smoke setting would occur even if I smoked it for four hours. When people cold smoke it sits in there with the smoke for days.

Any thoughts on brining?

Everyone does whole hog. There has to be some way to get flavor to the meat otherwise no one would do it to end up with pounds of unflavored meat. Am I missing something here?
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brutus1964
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Joined: 01 Apr 2014
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Location: Pinson, Tn.

PostPosted: Sat May 20 17 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The majority of my whole hog cooking experiences have been hogs about 225lbs cooked over coals in a block pit. This is old school and takes a lot of time and is very labor intensive. The meat gets 100% of its flavor from the smoke and the salt rub on the outside prior to cooking. As I stated earlier we would use a vinegar mop sauce but that doesn't get into the meat, its just basting the outside layer of the meat. There are still folks who cook over coals in a pit as I described above but its not as common as it once was. There are a lot of folks who cook whole hogs or pigs on offset or reverse flow cookers and the meat still gets its flavor from the smoke coming from the wood burning in the firebox.
I think that if you cooked a butt on your BGE by using a good grade of charcoal and a few chunks of hickory (or a hardwood of your choice...white oak, pecan,apple,peach...etc),,running the temp at 275 until the internal temp hit about 195, that you would be very satisfied with the flavor. Just rub the butt with your favorite rub or salt before cooking and you are good to go. 3 large butts would yield about as much pulled pork as a 35 lb pig.
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G Spot BBQ
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Joined: 03 Jul 2012
Posts: 132

PostPosted: Sat May 20 17 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
personally I do not even inject Butts because I want to taste smoked pork not flavor enhanced.

Wow! And here all this time I thought I was the only one! Laughing
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MountainMan
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Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sat May 20 17 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
k.a.m. wrote:
personally I do not even inject Butts because I want to taste smoked pork not flavor enhanced.

Wow! And here all this time I thought I was the only one! Laughing


NO there are LOTS of us that like lightly seasoned smoked pork and NOT enhanced with gobs of xxx!
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