The Best Tofu Presses (Review) in 2019
If you’ve found yourself struggling to handle the not-so-great texture of unpressed tofu, but aren’t sure where to buy a tofu press, fear not. We’ve got you covered. Indeed, we’ve scoured the internet to bring you the best tofu press’ online, today and- even better- below that you’ll found our complete guide to buying a tofu press.
Whether you want a press and tofu mold for your bean curds or are simply looking for a great way to get the most out of your tofu, check out our buying guide and FAQ to learn everything there is to know about these handy little devices.
Easy-to-use tension knobs
Integrated centering marks
Food-safe stainless steel grommets
Top rack dishwasher-safe
5-pound pressing weight
FDA-approved, food-safe stainless steel construction
Zero rubber bands, plastics, and springs
Drain holes on the sides
Food-grade, nontoxic plastic material
Comes with cotton cheesecloth
Measures 5.5 inches long, 3.9 inches wide, and 3.5 inches high
The Best Tofu Press
Coming up as the best rated tofu press, the EZ Tofu Press uses a simple but effective vice to create a powerful pressing effect. Made with high quality materials that allow for an even, firm press and getting plenty of liquid out of your tofu with little to no effort, this is a fantastic option for both new tofu cooks and veterans.
The centering marks allow for better accuracy when placing your block, which in turns means you get a much more secure, even finished ingredient. Meanwhile, the stainless-steel screws and gromets work perfectly to keep going, time after time- no matter how much you end up using your new tool.
Fast and easy to use
Centering marks for even pressing
A unique and quirky design highlights the effectiveness of this option from ToFuture. This is a box-style tofu press with multiple layers for easy pressing and quick results. Being an all-in-one style tofu press, this option definitely has its advantages, as you won’t find yourself looking for an appropriate container for your excess liquid, which is caught in the lower level of the press. It’s also a very neat set-up and small enough to be stored away easily, when not in use.
However, using bands over a spring can make this item easy to clean once taken apart but can be quite fiddly to situate just right- you’ll also have to come back to this to stretch out the bands, every few minutes. It’s also slightly smaller than many of our other options, making this best suited to smaller households as it won’t be able to hold larger blocks.
Complete press including drain
Designed with convenience and cleanliness in mind, this Simple Drip Tofu Press from Glue Theory is a plate-style press that comes with an extra layer in the form of a sieve. Below this, you’ll find a tray that catches any excess liquid from your tofu- leaving you with less stuff to clean after use. This is helped further by being another dishwasher safe choice that means you won’t have to worry about messing around with dishes after using it.
This is a very highly rated option that comes at an affordable price and the added bonus of having a moneyback guarantee. The plates are BPA-free while the nuts and bolts are made with food-grade stainless-steel, so there’s no concerns about cleanliness or safety, either.
Patent pending design
Built in strainer and drip tray
A well-known choice in the vegan and vegetarian world is this Gourmet Press from TofuXpress. This box style tofu press uses a large spring to continually press the liquid out of your ingredients and even doubles-up as a marinating dish, once drained.
Made with FDA-approved thermoplastic and stainless steel, this is a slightly more expensive choice that works best for those who are happy to let their tofu drain slowly, throughout the day. It can be a little too large to easily store away however, so you might find that this choice is happier being sat on your countertop.
Doubles up as a marinating dish
Automatic tofu press
Designed with solid plates that will never bend or snap, the Original Tofu Press from Tofu Presser has been created by a manufacturer who has the sole interest of pressing tofu at their heart- as you can see by their name.
This is a dishwasher safe choice that is both BPA-free and FDA-approved. It’s made in the USA and has an outstanding customer service reputation. Created for firm and extra firm tofu, this item uses both springs and a nut-and-bolt set up to ensure your tofu is well and truly devoid of liquid by the time it has finished- which is usually within 15 minutes.
You should be aware that this choice can be a little tough to take apart, so you might find it difficult to store your new press if you have limited space. It also doesn’t have any draining dish or way to catch the liquid during the press operation, so be sure to find an appropriate dish to catch this before use.
BPA free HDPE plastic
Two springs for even pressing
A very popular choice that shows up time and again across the board as one the best rated tofu presses on the market, the Ninja Tofu Press from Raw Rutes is a simple, easy choice that new users will love. With no twisting, shaping or bending needed, you simply pop your block of tofu into this press and then add the ultra-heavy weight on top. Then simply leave it to do its job!
Made entirely from stainless-steel, this is one of the slowest tofu presses on the market. That said, if you are fine with planning ahead and don’t have a problem with placing your tofu in the fridge before work, you will return home to find a brilliantly pressed piece of tofu with no effort on your part.
Simple, effective tofu press
Very easy to clean
Popular and highly rated
If you were looking for a tofu press that can help press and mold your bean curds or any other ingredient, then the Mangocore Tofu Maker is the perfect choice for you. You won’t need to buy a decent cheesecloth to meet the other side of this tofu maker, as they are included. Meaning that, at such a great price, you really do a get a lot for your money with this option.
You’ll need to be prepared to use a little bit of elbow grease here, though- or find a decent weighted item that can fit in the box. There are no springs, nuts or attachments at all, so it’s on you entirely to press your tofu once it’s been created.
For use with cheesecloth
Very affordable option
Requires manual pressing action
This is effectively the same design as our 4th option, with one minor adjustment- the light tension spring. While this may not seem like a huge difference, it actually makes this choice the only press on our list that can manage silken and soft tofu. Ideal for those looking to make deserts and lighter dishes.
1-year warranty included
Includes light tension spring
Marinating dish included
If you do prefer to go a little old school, or simply fancy combining the mechanical press with a traditional pressing method, these cheesecloth strainers from ALYCONE Essentials is the best choice on the market.
Their simple drawstring bag design makes it easier to cover your blocks and ingredients completely, allowing you to get to work on pressing your food without fear of it falling apart on you.
Can be used on its own or with a tofu press
Washable and reusable
Comes with free recipe book
Best Tofu Press Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Tofu Press
As with anything that is in contact with food, you should always be sure that the material of your tofu press. The most common materials are wooden/bamboo and plastic. Wooden or bamboo gives a nice aesthetic in the kitchen but tends to be more expensive. Any wooden kitchen board or contraption that has frequent contact with water will also need to be regularly treated with oil, to maintain the waterproof barrier.
Of course, they also come with a few benefits, too- namely, wooden boards supposedly have antimicrobial properties. It’s said that any harmful bacteria during use can be drawn into the wood itself, which can then no longer reproduce and therefore dies out.
Plastic, on the other hand, is lighter, cheaper and much easier to find. They are non-porous and therefore won’t hold bacteria on their surface, provided they have been properly cleaned. Speaking of which, plastic is much more likely to be dishwasher safe and therefore a little easier to clean up after use. The only major downfall to any plastic is that they can come with some rather nasty chemicals, so always check that your tofu press is BPA-free if you go with this option.
There are a couple of different types to choose from when it comes to your new tofu press- which we talk about in more detail in the next section. The most important factor to consider when it comes to choosing a type, however, is how you’d like to use yours. Check out the reasons why, below.
Budgets inevitably come into play when buying anything new but with kitchen and household items the main thing to base your budget on is your cost vs. yield. In other words, consider how much value will the item bring to your home. If you don’t have tofu that often, it might be worth going for a cheaper option that will usually require a bit more elbow grease on your part.
Naturally, if you are a tofu worshipper and know that this will form a regular part of your diet, it’s absolutely worth paying a little bit more to get the right tofu press for you. The more expensive options will usually require less interference or effort from the user, which can make daily tofu pressing much easier, and less frustrating.
The aim of every tofu press is to squeeze the water out of your tofu and leave it ready for marinades or to cook. Most tofu presses have a fantastic degree of flexibility in them, when it comes to how hard you want to press your tofu.
In particular, options that use knobs and threads to adjust the depth of the press are a great way of really getting your tofu ready for cooking or marinating. These use considerable strength against the food without too much effort on your part, which is exactly what you want.
However, there are some other types that rely almost entirely on your own strength- which is fine if you need to use your press occasionally. Of course, for regular eaters of tofu, it can turn into a right pain if you have to push down continually for 15 minutes, every time you want to make some dinner- at a decent strength.
You should also be aware that the strength of your tofu press should match your preferred tofu type- silken tofu does not handle a press well at all and for this we would definitely recommend a cheesecloth instead. Unsurprisingly, firm and ultra-firm tofu requires a lot more strength in order to squeeze the excess liquid out before you can utilize your tofu to it’s full potential.
Finally, if you want to press any other ingredients or are looking to make your own tofu from bean curds, you’ll need the strongest tofu press available. These will be able to help you compact and shape your food into your desired space.
The size of the tofu press you require will depend entirely on how much you like to prep or cook at once. Larger blocks are better for families, while smaller options are great for single households and the more occasional use. There is a choice out there that is perfect for everyone, so take a look at the dimensions before buying and decide what is right for you.
You’ll notice that many tofu press manufacturers point out the average time it takes to draw all the liquid from your tofu, as this is probably the biggest competition in the market. The average time for a decent press is around 15 minutes- but you can press your tofu for as long or as little as you like.
Cheaper models take longer to fully press your food; however, this might not be considered a big deal if you’re happy to leave your tofu pressing for a few house prior to flavoring or cooking. If you fancy something a little faster, grabbing one of the stronger, faster options such as those in our top picks would be a much better choice.
Reviews are the easiest and simplest way to see how effective your tofu mold or food press will be. Think of them as other people trying and testing the products before you make your final decision. Many users even give out helpful hints and tips, which can really come in handy- especially if something goes wrong.
Different Types of Tofu Press Options
- Plate Style
Plate tofu presses work in the same as a clamp- only, in this case, the item being clamped is your tofu. They act as a vice by using two blocks, or plates, that are joined together by large screws. You then turn the knobs on these screws to lower the upper plate toward the lower section. As this happens, your tofu becomes squashed between the two plates and therefore the water starts to squeeze out of your food. This leaves you with some lovely, dry, pressed tofu that is ready to soak up whatever flavorings you choose and also leaves you with a better texture overall.
The plate style tofu press is quick, easy and very cheap to buy without having to sacrifice any extra effort on your part, as all the pressing is done via the pressure created by the screws and plates. They are also relatively small, so are easy to store and don’t take up a great deal of room on the countertop.
Unfortunately, because your tofu will be continually shrinking as the liquid leaves, you will need to tighten your plates together by a few more turns, every few minutes. In other words, you won’t be able to leave your press to work in solitude for more than a few minutes at a time.
You might also find yourself with a slightly skewwhiff tofu block for your first few tries, as you get used to the way your press works and how to evenly press your food. That said, you can always even this out fairly easily, so it’s not a huge negative.
- Box Style
As the name would suggest, this type of tofu press comes in a larger, bulkier box format. They use a spring, elastic band or weight to then push down continually on your tofu block until all the liquid has been squeeze out and there’s no more room left to push. These are fantastic if you like to set up your press and continue working on other things in the meantime, as you won’t need to hang around to keep adjusting the contraption.
Regrettably, the major downfall to these is that they have no room for flexibility. Whatever size you buy is the size you’re stuck with, so there’s no room for movement when it comes to larger blocks- and small blocks are more likely to be pressed unevenly. This is also the size you would need to deal with when it comes to storing your press, as well and they can take up a lot more room in your cupboard than a plate style press.
Best Tofu Press FAQ:
Q: What is a tofu press?
A: A tofu press is a simple piece of machinery that works manually, with a little help from the cook. They are designed to squeeze out any excess liquid (namely water) from your tofu block so that you can flavor your tofu with marinades and spices before cooking.
Q: How does a tofu press work?
A: Usually, when buying tofu, many beginners will use a cheesecloth, dish towels or kitchen towels to wrap up their tofu and use heavy items to squeeze the excess liquid out of their tofu. However, the latter two in particular can cause gross fibers to get into your food and they generally aren’t as good at getting out enough liquid to make a huge difference.
A tofu press uses the same action but in a much cleaner manner. In the same way that the added weight you provide in the above example can help squish out the water, a press will use more strength, and more even pressure to get out more water at a much faster rate.
How each press works is given in more detail above, where we discuss the types of tofu press and the pros and cons of each kind.
Q: What kind of tofu should I press?
A: Tofu can come in a range of densities, which are measured by how firm they are to touch. For most, these range from silken tofu to extra firm, and you’ll notice a few in-between these at your local supermarket. As a rule, silken and soft tofu isn’t designed for pressing- trying to do this often leads to a strange, mushy result that is neither aesthetically pleasing nor all that tasty.
Firm and extra-firm tofu are where pressing really highlights the amazing chameleon-like ability to change a tofu’s texture and flavor to meet whatever cooking need you may have. Often used in stir-fries, you will find that these options give you the best result when it comes to using a press.
Our Top Pick
The EZ Tofu Press was easily our Top Pick in tofu presses thanks to how easy it is to use- simply screw down the two grommets over time to evenly press your tofu to perfection. It’s also incredibly easy to clean, being dishwasher safe on the top rack, and can be stored away without issue, when not in use.
This tofu press is flexible enough to fit a huge range of blocks without a great deal of messing around and- possibly best of all- this press comes at an amazing price. Overall, this is the best value for money on the market, working brilliantly, without fuss and having fantastic longevity.