How to Split a Whole Hog

If you've never heard of a Caja China, I'd suggest you look into it. This wooden box, known colloquially as a Cajun microwave, is actually a product most associated with Cuban cooking and it's ingenius design makes roasting a whole hog a breeze. I don't own one, but a friend does, and it's amazing how quickly the box turns a raw pig into a perfectly cooked meal.

Normally, a hog roast is an all-night-and-day affair, but with a Caja China, it can take as little as five hours. The metal-lined box seals up tightly, holding in the heat of a bag of charcoal and keeping the moisture from the roasting meat inside. Though I haven’t tried it yet, I bet it would work great with a pronghorn or even smaller whitetail.

One of the challenges with using the Caja China, or other whole-hog roasting methods, is splitting the carcass. In this video, chef and cookbook author Perry Perkins uses a small axe and a heavy hammer to quickly do the job. Check it out.