BBQ tofu can be delicious when done well. This recipe takes several factors into account that will guarantee your tofu is packed full of flavor.
The best tofu to use is extra-firm and to press it thoroughly to remove any moisture inside. The firmer the tofu, the better it will stand up to the grill.
In addition, you’ll want to preheat the grill and oil the grates. Tofu doesn’t have as much fat as most meats and can stick to the grill without the oil.
We’ve included a recipe for barbecue sauce here, though you can change your tofu’s flavor by using the same technique with a different marinade or sauce (see FAQs).
This recipe serves 4 people.
- 2 packages of extra-firm tofu (14 ounces each)
- 1 1/4 cups barbecue sauce, either homemade (see recipe below), or store-bought
Tofu has a lot of water, both in the package and on the inside. By pressing your tofu with a press like this, you’ll remove the moisture so that your tofu can absorb more flavor. The process using a press takes about 5 minutes.
If you don’t have a tofu press, you can wrap your blocks of tofu in some kitchen roll or a clean towel and put something heavy on top. You can use canned foods, heavy jars, or even your cookbooks. Lay the tofu at the bottom of a colander or over a plate. This is so that the water can drain out, and it should take about 30 minutes. Pat the tofu blocks dry with some clean kitchen roll afterward. Your tofu is now ready to use.
- Slice each block of tofu into 1-inch slices, and place the strips in a shallow baking dish.
- Pour 3/4 cup of your barbecue sauce over the top of your tofu. (Save the rest of the sauce for brushing onto the tofu while it grills.)
- Let the tofu marinate in the barbecue sauce for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the grill to medium heat, and then oil the grates.
- Place the tofu on the grates and cook for 6 or 7 minutes per side, brushing the slices with the extra barbecue sauce periodically.
- Coat the tofu with the last of the barbecue sauce right before serving.
Note: This recipe lends itself well to BBQ skewers. Follow the recipe in the same way, except cut your tofu into cubes. Make skewers by alternating the tofu with slices of onions, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms.
Homemade Barbecue Sauce
This recipe is enough to coat 2 tofu blocks.
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sriracha (optional, if you like spicy barbecue sauce)
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder (optional)
- 1 tablespoon mustard powder
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
Whisk together all of the ingredients in a bowl, or blend in a blender. Use it right away, or pop your barbecue sauce in the refrigerator till you’re ready to use it. Homemade barbecue sauce can keep in the fridge for up to ten days.
Grilled BBQ Tofu Recipe FAQs
What can I serve with BBQ tofu?
Here are some tasty sides to go with your BBQ tofu:
- Corn on the cob
- Sweet potatoes
- Sautéed or grilled green beans, zucchini, eggplant, or another favorite grilled veg
- Three-bean chili
- Brown rice
- Mac n’ cheese
Can I freeze the leftovers?
You can freeze any leftover tofu, but this recipe works best when you eat the tofu fresh from the grill.
If you wish, you could freeze your tofu blocks before making this recipe. Freezing tofu gives it a chewier, more meat-like texture which is popular with many people.
You can freeze your tofu in its package (it will take longer to thaw), or slice it first and then wrap it in freezer-safe bags. Thaw your tofu either in the fridge (takes 1 day), at room temperature (takes 12 hours), or in a microwave (takes 10 minutes).
Once your tofu is thawed, you’ll want to press it thoroughly. Then proceed with the recipe from step 1.
Can I use a different marinade?
If you want to use a different marinade, here’s a classic combination that works on the grill. Mix together the following for 2 blocks of tofu:
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke (optional, but gives a deliciously smoky flavor)
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