How to Make a Caja China? Easy and Step-By-Step Guide

Not until I made a plan for a Thanksgiving party at my house did I look for what a Caja China is. Eventually, I came up with the idea to roast a whole pig at home.

But how can I do that without a giant roaster? I had no intention of buying one because I do not want to waste money on something that I may not use again. So, I started searching for a credible and economical way to build a pig-roasting box.

And I came across some videos and articles describing the process of making a Caja China. By using some wooden metals and simple crafting skills, you can easily make one yourself in less than 4 hours.

This writing describes the way I found out how to make a Caja China using a simple process. And I ended up preparing the whole family with some delicious roast pork.


How Caja China Method Outweighs Other Traditional Methods

You can find a dozen of ways to make Caja China on the internet, but in my point of view, I think there are only two main ways to make them right.

The Original Version

After weighing up the pros and cons of multiple different methods, I decided to choose the Caja China. Due to its simplicity and functionality, I strongly believe that it will be a perfect choice for a homemade roast pig.

In this approach, the pig lays flat and is held stable within a primitive frame which has a simple structure. After that, the pig is placed in a box called Caja China. On top of the pig, the charcoal will be burned on a tray.

This heating mode allows the heat to spread down from the top, just like in a huge BBQ grill. The Caja China method only takes under 4 hours to fully roast a pig; then it is flipped around to maintain the crisp skin.​

Regarding the benefits, roasting a pig in a Caja China is not limited by the location as it does not require a big space. Moreover, you can put the heating level under control by adding more or less charcoal to the top tray. Not to mention the fact that the roasted skin is poofy crispy.​

The Modified Version

Another version of the Caja China method requires you to dig a pit in the form of a rectangular. Basically, the hole serves as the box in the ordinary version. The prepared pig is put inside, along with a sheet of steel on top and charcoal.

Generally, the heat still spreads from the top. However, this method should be applied if your house has a pretty large yard. Due to its limitations in terms of space, I will only focus on the original version of the Caja China method.

In order to know how to roast a pig using a Caja China, take a look at this video.

How To Make a Caja China

What You Need

  • A hand saw
  • Nails and hammer
  • 2 x 4 and 2 x 2 sheets of aluminum
  • 1x3 and 1x2 furring strips
  • An MIG welder and safety gear
  • An MIG welder and safety gear
  • A grinder
  • Two 2,25” x 2,25” and two 2,25” x 4,25” plywood sheets
  • A steel grate that has stable handles
  • A 2’ 0.25” x 4’ 0.25” sheet of plywood
  • Four 2” x 4” x 3’ wooden pieces
  • Two wheel casters
  • Wood screws
  • Shelving hardware and brackets
  • Four S-hooks
  • Two wire racks
  • Measuring tape
  • A catch pan made of aluminum


Construct The Box

Use the welder to weld the sheets of aluminum to shape a roaster; then combine the 2x4 aluminum pieces to the 2 x 2 ones. Proceed this step in a careful manner, so there are no gaps in the joints. Grind all rough welds so as to prevent cuts or nicks from sharp edges.

Discard the protective gear, and get ready to build a box from wooden materials. Create the ends of the box using shorter wooden pieces, and make the sides using longer ones. Once it is shaped, glide the sheet of plywood to the bottom, then use nails to keep the pieces stabilized. You should make sure that the pieces are square and held on the same level.

Place the aluminum pack within the newly-made wooden box. There should be no gaps between the two boxes. Measure two wheel casters’ height using the measuring tape. Use the hand saw to cut two lumber pieces in order to adhere the casters to the wooden box. After that, use nails to keep them stable.

Attach the shelving brackets to the external sides of the box as handles. They need to be thoroughly stable so that it can handle the box while the pig is inside. Place the catch pan to the aluminum box’s bottom. All grease and drips will be caught by this connection.

After affixing the S-hooks to each corner of the wire racks, put them within the box. Stabilize the catch pan right on top of the wooden box, which is where the coals are used for heating. Remember that the catch pan needs to be secured so that burns are prevented.

Build The Top Frame

In general, the top frame is made of a steel sheet, and it is placed inside a frame that has handles.

Long Sides

Cover the furring strips with the aluminum foil. Remember to leave one inch on each side unwrapped to prevent the heat from escaping.

After removing all plastic films on the steel sheet, adhere the furring strips to the steel sheet’s long sides, overlapping the wood and steel by 1”. Use nails to keep them stable.

Short sides

It is time you put two other 1x3 furring strips into use. Shorten them so that they fit the steel sheet’s short sides, and they can also fit the long sides of the frame. Use foil to cover them, then stabilize them with nails.

Support pieces

Put the top frame on top of the wooden box. Slide a 1x2 piece of strip to the gap in the plywood box so that it fills up the notch. Use some wood screws to secure the structure, then repeat the same thing with the opposite side.

Last but not least, screw the furring strips (size 1x2) in a perpendicular line onto the bottom side of 1x3 strips. These pieces have the ability to handle the weight of the box. This is also the final step to finish constructing the top frame, as well as the Caja China.

The bottom line

In conclusion, that is basically how I succeeded in making my own Caja China. Thanks to this homemade roasting box, I had a wonderful time with a stunning roast pig along with my family. You can also create your own one with such easy-to-find materials.

However, try to be as careful as possible when constructing it. Knowing how to make a Caja China is important, but protecting yourself from being burnt or hurt is also essential.

For more suggestions about recipes that release a stunning vibe for your party, consult how to make Italian sausage or how to reheat a smoked turkey.

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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