The Best Tofu Press According to Reviews
If you’ve tried to make tofu at home and it came out rather sad and flavorless, chances are you didn’t squeeze out all of the water. Tofu is a great way to get protein on a plant-based diet. It absorbs the flavor of whatever you cook it in and you can make so many different dishes with it but only when it’s prepared correctly.
Using a plate weighted down by tins of food or books and a few paper towels helps some, but if you found out like we did that this method is just not enough, or your weights topple off (annoying!), or even just plain gave up and tried squeezing it by hand just to turn it into squished crumbles, don’t give up just yet.
We’ve gone through tofu press reviews and made you a list of the best tofu presses to help you make great tofu every time... well, provided you know how to use your herbs, spices, and marinades to create delicious flavors, of course. If not, there are lots of recipes out there, so don’t worry.
- The Best Tofu Presses
- How to Choose the Best Tofu Press for You
- Our Top Picks
The Best Tofu Presses
1. EZ Tofu Press
Our Verdict: Best Budget Buy
The EZ Tofu Press is a plate style tofu press and is able to take a variety of sizes and shapes of tofu blocks. There is even a helpful little line that will help you center your tofu perfectly so that the shape stays uniform.
This tofu press works quickly, within 15 minutes, but it will require one or two adjustments during that time to make sure that the water is removed from the tofu adequately.
There is less mess and hassle since you can use this press over the sink or plate. It’s easy to clean and made in the USA with USDA approved BPA-free plastic. The design feels sturdy and there are no springs that will get warn out over time.
The only issues are that when you put the tofu block into the press the top plate keeps wanting to slip down as it can’t be removed and there is nothing to keep it in place. Very high blocks of tofu can be problematic, but slicing them in half is a simple and effective solution.
When it comes to your pocket and your tofu, this a great option.
- Can take various sizes of tofu blocks and has a convenient line marking the center
- Tofu is completely pressed in approximately 15 minutes
- Easy to clean
- The plastic is USDA approved and BPA-free
- Feels sturdy
- The top plate doesn’t come off and it slips down when you put the tofu in the press.
- Very high blocks of tofu will need to be cut in half before being used.
2. Simple Tofu Press
Our Verdict: Best Plate Style Tofu Press
Just like the previous tofu press, the Simple Tofu Press can take various sizes of tofu blocks and pressing is complete within 15 minutes. It doesn’t wobble and is made from sturdy USDA food grade, non-absorbent, non-porous polyethylene material right here in the U.S.
This design uses springs (either 2 or 4 depending on the model) to facilitate pressing. The springs are guaranteed for 50 000 cycles. This tofu press can be dissembled for even easier cleaning and easy placement of the tofu.
The only negative thing there is to say about this tofu press is that it does require some strength to tighten the screws during pressing so if you do struggle with strength in your hands, you may want to look for a different press.
- Can take various sizes of tofu blocks
- Sturdy solid plastic (USDA food grade, non-absorbent, non-porous polyethylene material)
- It has springs guaranteed for 50 000 cycles to facilitate pressing (2 spring or 4 spring models)
- This press can be dissembled
- Presses the tofu in approximately 15 minutes
- If you struggle with strength in your hands adjusting the screws can be a bit tough
3. TofuXpress Gourmet Tofu Press/Marinating Dish
Our Verdict: Best Box Style Tofu Press
The best thing about the Tofu Xpress Gourmet Tofu Press is that it does all the pressing for you. As if that wasn't enough, it easily converts into a marinating dish too. If you enjoy silken tofu, Tofu Xpress also makes a model with a light tension spring that is able to press silken tofu as well.
It doesn't take up a lot of space in the refrigerator and can also be used to press veggies. It's made in the U.S. with FDA approved thermoplastic and stainless steel and works using two springs. It's dishwasher safe and even comes with a recipe guide and a 1-year limited warranty.
As with most box style tofu presses, this one takes at least 4-5 hours to be pressed adequately but in a pinch you can press your tofu within 20 minutes but it will be very soft.
It does require some good grip strength to lock the tofu into place so bear that in mind. There have also been reports that this press tends to break easily which can be annoying considering you need to pay a little more for this tofu press.
Aside from getting the process started, the only other thing you need to do is tip the water out manually.
- Made of FDA approved thermoplastic and stainless steel (uses 2 springs)
- Becomes a marinating dish
- Doesn't take up a lot of space in the refrigerator and is dishwasher safe
- Comes with a 1-year limited warranty and a recipe guide
- This press takes longer work
- Some people said that this press tended to break easily
- To start the process you need to lock it into place which requires some good grip strength
4. Tofuture Tofu Press
Our Verdict: Best if You Enjoy Colorful Kitchen Accessories
If you enjoy colorful appliances and kitchen accessories this funky colored Tofuture Tofu Press is for you. Not only can you press tofu with it, you can also use it to make your own tofu as well. It's dishwasher safe and easy to clean by hand. There is little to no mess as it has a container for the water to drip into.
Made with BPA-free FDA approved plastic, it uses durable bands to get the required tension. You may need to adjust these bands once or twice to get the tofu pressed adequately. It doesn't take up much space in the refrigerator and is very sturdy.
Like the other box style tofu presses it's best to press your tofu overnight, but it can be done in as little as 15-30 minutes if you're in a hurry and don't mind softer tofu. The bands are tricky to put in place and the flaps on the side have a tendency to break easily due to the pressure.
Luckily, in most cases, they can just be reattached. This can be frustrating though considering the cost.
- Made with FDA approved plastic and BPA-free.
- Works with durable bands to get the required tension.
- Has a container that the water drips into.
- It's dishwasher safe and easy to clean by hand.
- You can use it to make your own tofu.
- The flaps on the side tend to break easily but in most cases, they can be reattached
- It's best to press the tofu overnight
- The bands can be a bit tricky to put in place and you may need to adjust them periodically
- This press is quite expensive
How to Choose the Best Tofu Press for You
There are two types of tofu presses. What you choose depends on how often you make tofu, and how much time and effort you want to put in. It also depends on how much you would like to spend.
Plate Style Tofu Presses
Basically, this design uses two plates and screws that tighten to move the plates down and squeeze the tofu. This design is best if:
- You want the more affordable option.
- You don’t make tofu regularly.
- You buy or make different sizes or shapes of tofu.
- You don’t mind putting in a little extra time and effort.
- You don’t have a lot of space.
With these, sometimes the plates of the very cheap poor quality ones sometimes break due to the pressure. So if you are on a budget, bear this in mind so as not to waste more money on buying new tofu presses regularly.
Box Style Tofu Presses
This design uses a box and a heavy weight or spring weighted plates squeezes the tofu. This design is best if:
- You don’t mind spending a bit more money once off.
- You use only specific sizes and shapes of tofu (those that fit in your tofu press).
- You make tofu regularly.
- Space is not a problem (the box style takes up more space than the plate styles).
- You want to save time and effort.
Both can be good options, but the plate style tofu presses generally need to be adjusted gradually as the tofu starts releasing water whereas the box style tofu press does the work by itself after you set it up.
Box style tofu presses generally need to be used overnight or for a few hours at least before cooking the tofu, so it’s convenient if you put the tofu into the press before work. It will be ready when you come home.
What is Tofu?
Tofu is a type of curd made from soybeans and is also known as bean curd. As you will see below, there are different textures and they are suited to different cooking methods. Tofu can also be eaten raw if you prefer that.
By itself, it’s fairly bland but has a slightly egg-like flavor. So if you miss eggs, give tofu a go. But marinades and spices can also flavor your tofu any way you’d like.
Types of Tofu
Not all types of tofu require pressing. Some dishes don’t require pressing the tofu or require the firm or extra firm type of tofu. You can also get softer tofu. Silken tofu, in particular, is often used to make sauces whereas the firm and extra firm can be fried and used in stir-fries, salads, with roast vegetables, or even as steaks.
Whenever you try out a new recipe, double check the type of tofu required. Here are some of the types you might encounter and the types of dishes to use them for:
1. Silken Tofu
Soft and creamy, carries a lot of water. Use it for sauces, mock cheeses, icing on cakes, to make cheesecake, and make filling for ravioli or wraps. You can get soft, firm, and extra-firm silken tofu.
But note that the firm/extra-firm silken tofu won’t work the same way as regular firm tofu. It’s also referred to as extra soft tofu and isn’t good for pressing.
2. Soft Tofu
This is sold as block tofu but is also quite soft although it’s not the same as silken tofu since it’s not as smooth but it can be used for some of the same things as silken tofu. Not recommended for pan frying, deep frying, or pressing as it can cause oil spatter due to the water content and it tends to crumble.
3. Medium Tofu
It’s soft but a little firmer than soft tofu. It works well for soups and to make tofu scramble (kind of like scrambled eggs, but the vegan version). You can pan fry medium tofu but it still breaks apart relatively easily and you may struggle to press it.
4. Firm Tofu
Just as the name suggests, firm tofu is firm and stands up to various methods of cooking quite well. You can use it in a variety of dishes since it is harder to crack and very rarely crumbles.
5. Extra-Firm Tofu
If you’re into tofu steaks, this is the type to use. It keeps its shape very well and you can fry it, bake it, crumb it, and use it in a wide variety of dishes. The only drawback is that due to it being so dense it doesn’t absorb flavors as well.
6. Super-Firm Tofu
This type of tofu contains very little water and is often not even sold in water like the other types. If you are in a hurry, this is a great option. But, it’s very dense so if you want very flavorful tofu, this is not the best option.
Tofu can also come seasoned and/or fortified with other nutrients such as calcium and vitamin B12 which is convenient. You can get some more ideas on how to cook tofu here.
The Benefits of Tofu
Despite the bad rap that soy has gotten over the years, there is actually a lot of research that shows that soy actually has a lot of potential health benefits.
Tofu Nutrition Facts
Tofu is a good source of the following nutrients:
- Omega 3
This makes it a great food to add to any vegan and vegetarian diet.
Potential Health Benefits
Research shows that there are quite a few potential benefits that a moderate intake of soy (around 25g) may provide:
- Slightly lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- May improve vein and artery health.
- May lower blood pressure slightly.
- May lower inflammation in some people.
- May improve bone mineral density.
- May help to prevent breast cancer, particularly when consumed in adolescence and childhood. Preliminary research suggests that it may prevent breast cancer recurrence too.
- Can help to prevent prostate cancer.
- May improve kidney function, even in diabetes patients.
- Can help with menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flushes.
- There may be a benefit for those with Alzheimers, but tests show a lot of conflicting results.
The Problem with Soybeans
Many people were initially worried about soy causing breast cancer considering it’s known as a phytoestrogen.
Soy phytoestrogents don't bind to the same estrogen receptors as actual estrogen does which might be why it has been shown that even if soy doesn’t provide any protective benefits against breast cancer in some women, at very least it doesn’t increase their risk either.
So with that out of the way, let’s discuss the other problem. Pesticides. Soybeans are a common roundup ready crop. This makes it cheaper to produce, but unfortunately, roundup crops are sprayed even more heavily with pesticides than some of the other non-organic crops.
Pesticides have been linked to various health problems ranging from neurological problems to increased risk of cancer and learning disabilities in children. Not only this, but they are bad for the environment.
Whenever possible, only buy organic tofu or if you are making your own, only buy organic soybeans.
Some people are allergic to soy products. Soy is used in a wide variety of packaged foods so if you are allergic you probably know to check your labels. But not everyone is aware that tofu is soy so it’s important to keep this in mind.
So, now you know more about tofu and hopefully we’ve managed to answer all your niggling questions, if not, feel free to get in touch with us. Just to recap on the tofu presses that will change tofu from something bland into something that tastes amazing at least part way, here you go:
Our Top Picks
Most people once they try a tofu press can never go back to using two plates with whatever they used to weigh it down toppling off, smushed tofu, or lopsided tofu. If you've given any of these a try, let us know how it went. Which type do you think is the best tofu press?