How to Make Your Own Caja China

Written by sheharyar khan
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How to Make Your Own Caja China
Barbecue at its best (bbq grill Chinese style lamb ribs image by Elena Moiseeva from

Caja China, a simple tool used for cooking different meats, contains a metal box, wooden panels, and a tray that holds the coals used for cooking. It has been traditionally used by Cubans to cook whole pigs but is nowadays used by many others for commercial as well as residential dining purposes. Building a simple Caja China is a simple and straightforward procedure. Use your homemade device when hosting family cookouts or dinners.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Aluminium sheeting
  • Metal cutters
  • Rivet gun
  • Plywood panels
  • Wood
  • Nails
  • Cutting torch
  • Metal drill

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  1. 1

    Determine the dimensions of the base you require for the metal box of the Caja China. Make sure you add about half an inch to every dimension as you will be required to place nails there. Then draw those dimensions on the aluminium sheeting. See to it that the dimensions you desire match the size and kind of meat you want to cook. (The bigger the animal to be cooked, the bigger the required equipment.)

  2. 2

    Draw the horizontal panels on the relevant sides of your metal box. Use metal cutters to cut the box out along with the flaps toward the edges of your cross panels and fold the box along with the side panels and the attaching flaps. See to it that you keep the base of the box intact and, while keeping the box tight, drill a hole about four inches down the four respective sides. Your holes should be large enough to accommodate a rivet. Then load the rivet gun and place a rivet in each hole you have drilled.

  3. 3

    Cut five plywood panels (four sides and the base) as per the measurements you have taken and also create a wooden frame surrounding the metal for insulation purposes. Attach the wooden box around the metal box with the help of nails placed along the respective sides about every 2 inches from one another. The metal box should easily fit within the wooden box.

  4. 4

    Draw the outline of your grill lid's base in an aluminium sheet but see to it that the dimensions of your lid are larger than your metal box but smaller than those of the wooden box on the outside. Proceed by building the side panels and drill sufficient holes in the base of your lid to give room for air to circulate while the meat is being cooked.

  5. 5

    Position the grills in the inner side of the box you have created but see to it that you leave some room for air between the meat, grill and the base. If you require some adjustment in terms of your grill's size, use a cutting torch. During cooking, ignite the charcoal, allow the box to sit till the meat is prepared and flip the meat if you suspect uneven cooking. When it's ready, remove the prepared meat from your Caja China and serve.

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