Looking for the best tofu press in 2020? We're tofu fanatics and we've covered it in this review of what we think are the best tofu presses available in the market today.
Keep reading to find...
- Our top 5 picks for the best presses in 2020.
- What are they and how do they work? What are the different style presses?
- How is tofu made (this is important to understand if you're buying a press).
- The different types of tofu press and plate style options.
- An in-depth analysis of all our favorite picks.
Don't have time to read the whole buying guide? Here's a quick table of our best tofu press top picks...
Top 5 Best Tofu Press Reviews
|Image||Product||Where to Buy|
|Tofurture Press||View on Amazon|
|EZ Tofu Press Plated Model||View on Amazon|
|TofuXPress: The Gourmet Tofu Press||View on Amazon|
|Super Tofu Presser Plated Model||View on Amazon|
|Raw Rutes Stainless Steel Press||View on Amazon|
Any of these best tofu press options below will get the job done. At the same time, they each have unique features and plate style options, thus their own set of pros and cons. Here are the tofu presses that have made it to our list.
2. EZ Tofu Press Plated Model
The EZ Tofu Press is more of a budget model with a very simple plate style designed with one thing in mind: getting the water out of your blocks. While it doesn't have all of the bells and whistles of the TofuXpress, the EZ Tofu Press does what its designed to do. It gets the excess water very quickly as you have full control over the tension.
This plate style press also allows you to press tofu blocks down really, really hard. You can press down on extra firm tofu quite a bit before it starts to break apart. You can also do it really lightly if you're draining a more delicate product such as silken tofu.It's also pretty big. We've even managed to press two blocks in ours, but it's probably better suited to press one and 3/4 blocks. A portion of the tofu was colliding with the metal screws, but that's okay! There is one major downside to this unit that might not be that obvious, but notice that it doesn't have anywhere for the water to go! This means that when you drain it, you need to keep it in the sink or on top of another plate.
It would make a mess if you put it directly onto your counter top. All-in-all, though this is a really solid press.It's also made in the USA and is made of BPA free platic.
Full control over the tension means that you can press as lightly or as hard as you'd like when you loosen or tighten the screws. Great for extra firm blocks.
Big enough to fit large blocks of tofu and close to two blocks if you really stuff it in.
Made in the USA.
Top rack dishwasher safe with BPA free plastic and food grade materials.
There's not really a great place to drain the water when you're pressing it.
4. Super Tofu Presser Plated Model
Like the EZ Press, this super tofu press model has full tension control and gets the excess water out of a tofu block quickly and easily with its simple two plate style design. One thing you'll notice about the this plate style press is that it doesn't have any springs, only tension knobs. The Super Tofu Presser has the same basic design as the EZ Tofu Press, but actual has springs as well, which makes the Super Tofu Press better.These springs serve the function of preventing the two plates from collapsing onto each other. You place the product between two bpa free plates. If you've never seen either of these models in person, you can imagine how this might occur. While we've never had any issue with our EZ Press doing this, it is something to consider.
We've found that once you get the tofu in, you don't really need to worry about the plates being loose anymore, but the initial set up can be a bit flimsy without the added springs. Depending on your budget as well as the current pricing of either spring loaded double plated tofu press, it's probably wise to check out both these models before making your final decision.
Over all, the Super Tofu Press is a decent option that does the job pretty well. It also made from food grade materials.
Full control tension knob with springs to keep things sturdy. Tighten the screws to press down harder or loosen to press lighter.
This press is made in the USA with BPA free materials.
It is also top rack dishwasher safe.
No good place to drain the water into, sink or additional plate will be required.
5. Raw Rutes Tofu Press Ninja
We like this food grade stainless steel press for its simplicity. The top of the Raw Rutes Tofu Press Ninja is actually a weight. With its box style tofu press, all you need to do is place the tofu in and place the weight on top.
This Raw Rutes Tofu Press is great because its designed to last a life time. Being that its steel it won't absorb any odors or flavors over time and its super easy to clean. Also, some people don't want plastic touching their food - so naturally this would be their first choice.It's also got the most beautiful aesthetic on this list in our opinion. If you want something that can sit directly on your counter-top then this is the model to go for. This tofu press can also be used in the final stage of the tofu making process so long as you have a cheesecloth, so it does double duty!
Stainless steel parts to last a lifetime and dishwasher safe. Should be the only press you ever need.
Made in the USA.
Lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
Can be used as a mold in the final step of the process.
No exact way to adjust the tension like some of the other units.
No container so it needs to be drained over a plate or in the sink.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Tofu Press?
Out of all the items on this list, the Tofurture and EZ Tofu Press are our favorite options.
Is a Tofu Press Worth It?
If you want to really make restaurant-style tofu then it's worth investing in one. You may not end up using it every time you make tofu, but its great to have when you want to make it extra special.
Why Do You Press Tofu?
Simple! To get the water out so that you can get sauces and other flavors to be absorbed.
How Long Should I Press Tofu For?
For best results, you should press tofu for around 1-4 hours. However, I've done it in as little as 15 minutes when I'm in a rush. Not all of the water gets out, but you still get better results than not doing it at all.
Can You Over Press Tofu?
You can't technically over press tofu, but if you press it too hard the block may crumble and not maintain its shape.
What is Tofu Exactly?
As a staple in a plant based diet, tofu is actually nothing but a block of bean curd. While most commonly made with soybeans, it can also be made from other legumes such as chickpeas. Notice that word curd is short for "curdle" which is defined as causing something to coagulate or congeal.
It is simply or congealed soy milk that's been formed into a block of tofu using a coagulant.If you're not familiar with these terms, a coagulant is a substance that helps transform something from a liquid to a gel.In the case of tofu, the most common coagulant is Nagari (magnesium chloride).
What Are the Historical Origins of Tofu?
Although it might seem like tofu is just starting to gain popularity, the truth is that tofu has been around for a long time. The earliest known origins of the word were from 1182 in Japan, but the product itself is said to have originated in China at around 122 BC. It was also most likely discovered by accident when someone curdled a pureed soybean soup by seasoning it with Nigari and unrefined sea salt.
In many Asian countries, tofu is more highly regarded than cheese, meat, and milk. Estimates from the 1980's state that there are nearly 250,000 manufacturers worldwide with the bulk of them in China and Japan.
How Tofu is Made
While this article isn't going into extreme detail about how to make tofu, it is important to understand the process. This will help you better understand the differences between each tofu presser. As you'll see, some options are geared more towards draining excess water from store-bought tofu while others are meant for forming blocks.Making tofu can be broken down into three simple steps:
1) Making fresh soy milk using a soy milk maker or top reviewed blender.
2) Separating the liquid from the pulp (or okara) of the finished product.
3) Using a coagulant to curdle the liquid soy milk and placing it in a press mold to finalize the block.
The above video breaks down the process of making extra firm tofu in a bit more detail if you're interested.
WHY BUY A TOFU PRESS?
There are two main reasons to buy a tofu presser:
1) To take pre-made blocks and drain the excess water out for texture and flavor enhancement.
2) To take coagulated curd and form it into tofu.
There are different tofu presser options or molds for each application. The word "press" is sometimes use interchangeably to describe both functions, but the device for the second function or more like a mold.
Note: a few of these tofu presser options can be used for both molding and draining.The most common presses (box style tofu presses)will greatly enhance the texture of any piece of tofu. In our guide on how to press and drain a block of tofu where we found that pressed has a denser texture.This creates a more pleasant mouth-feel for some dishes, especially if you're trying to replace meat or making a feta "cheeze".
Additionally, if you drain all of the water out of tofu and wipe it dry with a paper towels, it allows you to re-hydrated it with flavorful marinades. Draining the flavorless excess water from blocks of tofu is really the only way to allow other seasoned liquids to make their way into the tofu.
Finally, if you're trying to get your it to be crispy, pressing all of the water out as a must. Your tofu will fry to a delicious crispy texture easier, especially if you use some cornstarch, once the water is out. In short, you need to buy a tofu press if you want to have good tofu.See Also: How We Use a Tofu Press to Drain Water
DIFFERENT TYPES OF TOFU PRESS Options
Before you decide which product you want to buy, it's important to understand the different designs that are on the market today.
Plate Style Tofu Press
Plate style tofu press options are the most common on the market today.They're extremely simply to use and some are even large enough to accommodate two regular sized blocks of tofu from the store.
Here's how they work:
1) You unscrew the knobs on the tofu press and move the plates far enough to fit the tofu block inside.
2) You place the tofu inside the two plates.
3) Tighten the knobs gradually to press it down. Can be done in the course of 10-15 minutes or over a longer period of time.
We've seen other sites claim that the plastic on some of these tofu presses are FDA approved, but we couldn't find anything about them being FDA approved ourselves. However, the brands do say they are BPA free, so we're not even sure where the FDA comes in.
Spring-Loaded Boxed Tofu PressesUsing a single pressing plate, boxed presses operate a bit differently than the dual-plated models.Rather than having to tighten the tension on these models, the spring loaded single plate provides enough tension to drain the tofu.
The main brand that makes these types of modern style tofu presses is TofuXpress and it works like this:
- Place the block of tofu in the box directly from the package after the initial water was drained out.
- Secure the pressing plate onto the top of the block of tofu by securing the lid to the top of the base of the press.
- Place the press aside and prepare the rest of your meal. No need to tighten from here, you'll start seeing results at around 15 minutes, but it can be done longer.
Its easy to use with very little manual work involved.
Stainless Steel Tofu Presses
Stainless steel press options are also a viable option for pressing your tofu. Rather than having any sort of spring or tension mechanism, they operate using a weighted top and often times have 304 grade stainless steel.The function is similar to a press you might make at home with cans or dumbbells, but is manufactured to be a lot more ergonomic and user friendly.
The main model on the market is the Ninja Press by Raw Rutes. The way it works is extremely simple:
- Put the tofu within the body of the press.
- The weighted top will fit right on top of the tofu and you can press it down. No adjusting required.
There's no work involved other than placing the weight. If you're simpliciy this could be the best tofu press for you.
Japanese Wooden or Plastic Tofu Presses
When someone is talking about a wooden or Japanese style tofu press, they are likely talking a product that also functions as a tofu mold. They function similar to a 304 grade stainless steel press with the usual box style tofu presses design, except that they're wood or you may find plastic plates in them and don't tend to come naturally weighted.
Additionally, they can come in wood or plastic. It is important to make sure that the press uses food grade plastic so as to sure about the product's safety. If you'd like to see some examples, you can take a look at our list of the best wooden tofu presses.
You wouldn't really want to buy them to press tofu from the store as they tend to be rather small and wouldn't be as efficient as some of the other models on this list. However, some of the best press options we've featured below candouble as a tofu mold!
Check them out!
Final Word on Tofu Presses
Because all of these best tofu press options can get the job done, the final decision comes down to your personal preference. We've created a few guidelines in this buying guide to help you narrow down which one you might want.