Cuban style pork shoulder in DO

Discussion in 'Dutch Oven Cooking' started by Dammitjim, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    I haven't found much information about making a pork shoulder in a DO but cuban style. When I say cuban style, I mean not pulled BBQ, but rather meat that is well seasoned and not falling apart in strings, but rather one is able to make nice slices of it.
    I have found recipes online to use a dutch oven, but they mean more of ceramic pot to cook it on the top stove.
    Where does this all come from? Well, I've been wanting to build a caja china to roast a full pork, but then while thinking about it, it came to mind that the dutch oven works similar to a caja china. If you don't know what a caja china is, look here: http://www.steamykitchen.com/17350-pig-roast-in-la-caja-china.html
    Could one get that crispy pork skin in a DO? Would I just put charcoal on the top and none on the bottom like in a caja china?
    Thanks for any information!
     
  2. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe New Member

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    My vote is taht you would not get the crispy skin. A DO holds in a lot of moisture and it looks like that device to roast a pig allows the moisture to come out.

    However, I've roasted a chicken in the DO and the skin on top comes out very crispy.

    If I was going to try, I'd probably go with coals only on top like you suggested.
     
  3. Sharon

    Sharon Dover, FL

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    That is pretty interesting, never seen that before.

    Im wondering! If DO keeps moisture in, and you need it out to get it crispy. Would laying a couple of metal skewers across the dutch oven, then laying the lid with coals on top. This would give you just a tiny gap enough for moisture to get out.

    Would that work?

    Sharon
     
  4. Jimbow

    Jimbow Well-Known Member

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    Sharon that's my pizza trick. You do have to be careful when checking or rotating the DO and lid or coal and ash can get inside.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  5. Sharon

    Sharon Dover, FL

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    I was thinking about the ash problem. And thinking if you put a piece of foil over the top so it hangs over the side like a skirt, that might stop the ash from flying in. And still let the steam get out.

    I might have to get mine out and play with it. Never made pizza in there. Just lasagna. Which I plan to make this weekend.

    Sharon
     
  6. Blackpot

    Blackpot Spit, grit & duct tape - What more do you need ?

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    Jim, because a DO uses a closed environment to cook, what you are doing whenever you prepare a roast is braising. (to cook for a long period of time with moisture in the bottom of the vessel) Even if you use a #12 deep oven and start out with the roast on a rack in the bottom, the meat will render off fat and moisture during the 3-4 hours necessary to get it up to at least 170* internal temp.
    Because Cuban style pork recipes call for either marinating or brining the roast beforehand, I doubt that you will be able to create a crust or "bark" like you can in an oven or smoker even if you vent the lid with skewers. A kettle type grill can be set up to smoke a pork roast very successfully without having to build or purchase a caja china. (IMO) [:D]
     
  7. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    For Cuban Pork you should get a La Caja China cooker
     
  8. FL_Bill

    FL_Bill I'm cooking something yummy!

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    Hmmm... I know I made a good pork before.... Crunchy skin and all.


    Now I'm going to have to make one this weekend to see...




    FL Bill
     
  9. Blackpot

    Blackpot Spit, grit & duct tape - What more do you need ?

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    Hey you guys from Florida! Why don't you join us for the Florida Fall Rally at Hillsborough River State Park and we can have our own mini DOG?

    Tell us how it turns out Fl_Bill; pics if you can. [:D]
     
  10. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    Dude, did you even read and look at my original post? [SNZ]
     
  11. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    Ok, so I guess the general consensus is that a DO would not produce a crunchy skin... I'll have to play around with my DO and see what happens. Blackpot, I'll look at a kettle grill and see what I can make out.
    Thanks all!
     
  12. shelmily

    shelmily Well-Known Member

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    You could totally do this in a dutch oven. A few tips... You are going to want a large enough oven to allow you to put the pork on a meat tray or trivet. Also big enough in diameter to allow air to move around in the oven. I would start out as if you were baking it (2/3 top, 1/3 bottom) until about halfway cooked. Then I would move all coals to the top to finish out. The top of the pork will brown. You will have to keep an eye on it an flip the pork at some point to brown the other side. If you are having problems getting it to brown, you can syphon some of the liquid off the bottom. Or as Sharon suggested, crack the lid slightly. You only want enough gap to let steam out, not a lot of heat. I have done pork loin, fish, chicken, to name a few and get good results this way. Good luck.
     
  13. Blackpot

    Blackpot Spit, grit & duct tape - What more do you need ?

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    I have been digesting this question for a little while (no pun intended) and decided to read the original post again. Dammitjim wants to cook a tender pork shoulder roast with crispy skin that he can slice.

    In order for the skin to crisp and turn brown, the maillard reaction has to occur. The denatured moisture in the tissues have to mix with present suchrose and color the surface. (okay; the meat sweats and the moisture mixes with sugar present in the protein on the surface and caramelizes the mixture making it brown and taste like, well, meat) This pretty much has to occur in a dry atmosphere or the mixture on the surface will be washed off into the bottom of the pan. That is why onions will caramelize in an open skillet and only sweat in a covered one.

    Although you may induce some browning on the surface of poultry or other meat by searing it with a layer of oil rubbed on, I still don't feel that the crispiness he is going for can be achieved in a closed container. And here is why:

    I also own an Orion cooker (http:/www.theorioncooker.com). Although it also has the ability to add smoke flavor to the meat, it still operates basically the same as a Dutch oven - coals on the top/coals on the bottom creating convection heat inside a closed container. I and countless others have achieved remarkable results with this equipment, yet most still transfer ribs to a grill for crisping and glazing after the meat is cooked and pork shoulder roasts come out amazingly flavorful and fall apart tender but there is no "bark" like you achieve in an aspirated smoker. The 1/2 inch of drippings left in the drip pan of this cooker from a 7 lb pork shoulder provide the moisture that keeps the maillard reaction from happening.

    Can you get crisp skin cooking it in a Dutch oven? I don't know. [2C]
     
  14. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    This is why this forum is so great! Thanks for the info, Blackpot. I'm thinking I'm just going to have to try it. If I don't get crispy skin, oh well... at least the meat is going to taste awesome! My oldest son and I are the only ones who will enjoy the crispy skin anyways (out of 7 people). I can appreciate the detail you gave with regards to the process in which a crispy/bark skin is achieved!
     
  15. Sharon

    Sharon Dover, FL

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    Here is some thing to throw in the mix. Some mentioned, the dutch oven not being big enough for air to move around the meat.

    How about this short galvenized metal can with lid. This one is 10 gallon and is $17.99 but they have a 6 gallon one for $14.99. I know several people have cooked turkeys in the large ones but these would be good for chickens stood upright and large porks. You could turn the lid over to hold the coals.
    http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/behrens-10-gal-galvanized-sheet-steel-garbage-pail?cm_vc=-10005

    While your there, check out this bucket, I bought one for when I cook in the dutch oven, it keeps the coal off the ground, helps block the wind and retain the heat. And the Dutch oven and lid lifter just stores in side.

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/behrens-1-bushel-galvanized-sheet-steel-utility-basket?cm_vc=-10005
     
  16. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry DUDE, only read half of it and the title
     
  17. Dammitjim

    Dammitjim New Member

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    Thanks Sharon, that's funny 'cause I have the can with the lid, but that's where I put my tongs, brush, fire started, water spray bottle, and newspaper! :) Then the utility basket I use for putting drinks with ice LOL
     
  18. FL_Bill

    FL_Bill I'm cooking something yummy!

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    I agree with shelmily, I know I had crunchy skin when I did it in my DO. Just slow cook first and near the end keep the top hotter and it will cook the rind.

    The hardest thing for me is finding sour oranges. One of my friends had a tree in their yard, but they moved and now I do not have access to them any more.
    [:(]
    I can sometimes still get bonanza lemons and mix then with OJ. But just not the same. Some of the spanish stores around here have a good Mojo juice and I have used that...

    Lots of opinions when it comes to DO cooking...lol

    Love it, FL Bill
     
  19. FL_Bill

    FL_Bill I'm cooking something yummy!

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    Blackpot...can you link the rally info? I could not make the last one but want to make this one.

    FLB
     
  20. Blackpot

    Blackpot Spit, grit & duct tape - What more do you need ?

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    Love i
     

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