Mini Cajun Microwave

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Mini Cajun Microwave

Postby CyderPig » 07 Feb 2013, 19:41

In the process of finishing my new project.
One old bedside cabinet.
One chafing dish top.
Reclaimed table tops (SS)To line cabinet)

Assorted wood
Old cooker grill tray
Charcoal and wood

And Bob's your Aunties Lover!!
One Cajun Microwave!!!
Will Post Pic's when I can get the man who can to do it!
Sorry Technophobe!!!!

Cheers
Simon
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Re: Mini Cajun Microwave

Postby Toby » 08 Feb 2013, 06:24

sounds great! integrating one into my new trailer at the moment!
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Re: Mini Cajun Microwave

Postby robgunby » 23 Jan 2014, 13:35

Hi Simon

Just wondering if, a year on, you have had much use out of it? How do you find it compared to an oven? I'm toying with the idea of building one, but dunno how much I'd actually use it over my smoker as there's no smoke involved. If i were to build one it owuld have to be big enough to hold a suckling pig I think :)
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Re: Mini Cajun Microwave

Postby slatts » 25 Jan 2014, 10:51

Hi


Rob have a look on lacajachina.com they make them but are in the America, they have all different sizes and how much meat they can hold. Worth using those as a base for what size you want, also quite a few vids on youtube.

The one I see that started my thread was on Jamie and Jimmy where Jimmy built one from an old transport crate which was lined with aluminium sheeting with an old oil tray used under cars to catch oil for the charcoal tray. He got a while pig in there which was butterflied.
Looks like a great idea plus the whole pig was cooked in 4hrs, maybe you could push smoke through it somehow or even cold smoke the pig first then cook it. Some vids on youtude do dry rub and inject the pig first.

Need to have quite a few round for a bbq with a whole pig though
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Re: Mini Cajun Microwave

Postby robgunby » 25 Jan 2014, 11:06

Cheers matey. Had a word with Simon the other day and strangely enough what convinced me I should build one was the concept of cooking a full roast dinner in it. I hadn't realised quite how hot these bad boys get!

My kitchen oven is terrible. A cheapo stopgap (we are getting our kitchen refitted within a year, but our old cooker broke down last year), it is narrow, unpredictable, and once it gets to temp it is about 6 gas marks hotter on the top than the bottom. If I cook a large chicken, rolled joint or similar, it will burn on the top and be undercooked on the bottom.

So I am going to start looking about for bits and pieces, and that prebuilt website will prove very handy in terms of sizing things up, so thank you slatts! Also had two great tips for lids now - Simon suggested a food warmer lid, great for a smaller one, and an oil catcher for the larger. Thanks chaps!

As for how much food will go on it, I might have to build two - one for cooking for the family and one for cooking for parties!
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Re: Mini Cajun Microwave

Postby robgunby » 25 Jan 2014, 11:51

Just had another thought. Languising at the top of my garden is an unlidded, rectangular, grill bbq. From memory it measures about 2 1/2 feet by 1 foot, and is essentially a ready made cajun microwave fire dish, with a positionable grill and windbreak already mounted into it.

I was just gonna give it away or junk it this spring, but now it will finally find its place! Just need to remove the legs and mount it in an appropriately sized frame.

That just leaves me with the box to find and construct, then of course the dreaded, hard to find, expensive expanded stainless steel to make the cooking grate.

Last but not least, the liner. Does it really *need* a liner? Could it be lined with heavy duty tin foil instead? I presume if it was really tightly wrapped in tin foil it would prevent it catching light at the cooking temps expected. I've seen designs out there that don't have any liner at all and just advise to keep cooking temp under 300F. I also presume that cooking temp is controlled with fire management and opening the lid a little for allowing temps to drop?
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Re: Mini Cajun Microwave

Postby slatts » 25 Jan 2014, 15:10

Hi

The ones ive watched just started with 20kg of charcoal and every hour poured more charcoal on top, at the 3rd hour they turned the pig over to skin side up to make the crackling.
There was no heat management at all, just left to it. Some have mentioned drilling a hole for a probe but I think that was for the meat.
I looked on ebay for the crate but didn't really find anything but I did read some instructions stating ply wood cut at 4ft by 2ft for the sides and bottom and 2ft by 2ft for the ends then legs with or without wheels at the front. 2 batons screwed on for arms to move it with if having wheels, pretty much like a wooden box wheelbarrow.
I found clickmetal.co.uk for the aluminium sheets at those measurements came out at £105.00 haven't really looked elsewhere so cant say if that's expensive or not.
Have to find a pig to cook aswell :lol: :lol:
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Re: Mini Cajun Microwave

Postby robgunby » 25 Jan 2014, 15:29

Does it need the sheeting slatts? If you could line it with foil, it's easy to clean (just replace the foil). I think I'm going to try making one with just foil, because worst comes to worst all I've invested is some plywood and some screws. An 8x4' sheet is about £20, and should do the lot.

8x4' stainless EM for the mesh is £40 and will leave quite a bit behind for future projects.

£5 for some ss bolts to put the grill on and £5 for some foil, and in theory at least, I've got a design coming in around £70 with some leftover EM.

20kg charcoal!! And that's just to start! Wowser. I think the first build will be substantially smaller than that. If I go for 3x2' it should hold my old grill bbq quite nicely. Holds (at a guess) 3kg tops, but should be sufficient for the size of oven I hope.
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Re: Mini Cajun Microwave

Postby slatts » 25 Jan 2014, 17:19

Yes I see your point on the foil, Its relatively the same thing just a lot thinner and will retain the heat.
I suppose the sheeting will be easier to clean and although the foil is easily removed and cheap, if your doing a lot of cooks will the sheeting be cheaper over time.
Doing a test run like you say will answer most questions.

I actually want to do the whole pig and even do a few for parties, obviously try and turn a profit.

I wonder how much a 60-70lb pig costs :shock:

I suppose the sheeting protects the wood from the heat, don't really want the ply to smoke over the food. I wonder if you lined it with a thin layer of oak over the foil would that give off some smoke. Maybe try and get the oak or hickory, whatever wood you can get, to stick under the lid, surely that would make some smoke, but wouldn't want any ash falling on the meat, then again would an exhaust for the smoke let out to much heat????????? Questions questions questions
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Re: Mini Cajun Microwave

Postby robgunby » 25 Jan 2014, 17:38

I think you have spent as much time today thinking about this as me :D

Your idea about wood under the lid, yes, I think it could become disastrous. You can fit a suckling pig on a large smoker, if smoke is really important, but the cajun mic is meant to be a huge oven rather than a smoker. However, with that said....

I have seen a few that use a ground level fire and the pig above it, I plan on building mine with no bottom so as to provide options for this (and it's cheaper). I reckon that, depending on the construction and size, you could put a small indirect fire in one end and add wood to that if desired. Of course, this would require ventilation, but that's not hard to include with a movable baffle to close it off if only using the top coals.

WRT the wood burning, I don't think stainless steel is going to provide much more protection than tightly wrapped foil due to its conductive nature (I could be wrong on this). Most designs that use wood (as opposed to say, breeze blocks or bricks) have a fairly wide border around the fire bowl. Does anyone reading this have any idea of the rough average temperature inside the beasts? Also, if the plywood is really tightly wrapped, with foil tape on the seams, could smoke actually be generated and escape?

As for the cost of foil, I don't intend this prototype to do lots of cooks. It's not for commercial use, and I imagine will mostly be for doing large roast dinners when I have some extra family round. I can't afford to burn that much charcoal on a regular basis - though waste wood can be used too of course, as the fumes will not be in contact with the meat. As such, and given the experimental nature of this, I'm just gonna stick to foil for now. If it catches fire, so be it :)

Pig cost - to give you an idea, I can buy locally raised, free range boar / mangalitsa cross pigs for around £280. They tend to weigh in around 80lb (roughly). They come whole, but cleaned, and I have a friendly butcher who will joint it for free. A quick look at prices on the web show between £200 and £350 for a 100lb pig, depending on how much butchery you want doing (those top end prices include bacon, sausages etc, but I would rather make my own).
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