Most of the foods and activities we’ve discussed so far have been rooted in Cajun tradition for decades if not centuries. All this talk of tradition might have you thinking that Cajuns are stuck in the past, but don’t go confusing us with the Amish. Unlike our friendly bearded friends, Cajuns aren’t afraid of innovation. If there’s a better way to get things done, we’re all ears. The faster we can get a job done, the quicker we can move on to the more enjoyable things in life. Cajuns we don’t sit idly by, waiting for the outside world to make things easier, we problem solve. When faced with the question of how to better season their meat, the Cajun Injector was born. When faced with the daunting task of cooking beer flavored chicken, the ChickCAN was born. Today’s showpiece of Cajun inventiveness is #38 on the list of Stuff Cajun People Like…the Cajun Microwave. And please don’t write me to say it was invented by some Cuban guy, cause I’m not listening (la la la).
The Cajun Microwave is basically an outdoor convection oven with a charcoal box on top. This wooden box with a stainless steel interior solves the problem of how to prepare a large piece of meat, like cochon de lait, without having to dig a large pit in the ground. With a Cajun microwave, simply place your seasoned pig or other meats in the Cajun microwave, close it up, and place hot coals on top. Like a dutch oven, this cooking method keeps moisture in, resulting in a juicier meat. Some deluxe Cajun microwaves even have a grill on top so you can grill out while you wait for the main course. With a Cajun Microwave, you can feed 75 of your closest friends being the envy of the all your fellow tailgaters.
Now Cajun Microwaves aren’t for everyone. For one, they’re sort of pricy, ranging from $500 to well over $1000 depending on size and materials. This is pretty expensive, considering the alternative is digging a big hole in the ground. Of course, plans are available online, so you can always build one yourself rather cheaply. Another criticism is the lack of smokiness, since the Cajun Microwave roasts your meat rather than smoking it. These are all valid criticisms, but for many the advantages make up for any shortcomings. For one, using a Cajun Microwave is more efficient than the in-ground method, and it’s faster than open pit cooking. And most importantly, it looks cool as hell. Say what you want, but MacGyver ain’t got nuthin’ on a hungry Coonass.