Meatless Monday Barbecue: A Deliciously Simple Recipe for Tofu on the Grill

Posted by on Jun 9, 2014 in Food & Cooking |


Have you been on the lookout for more grill recipes lately? And maybe more specifically, a recipe for grilled tofu? Well then you’re in luck, because today I’m going to teach you exactly how to cook tofu on the grill to perfection every time. It’s easier than you think!

Whether you’re a vegetarian, looking to eat more plant-based food or need a meatless option for you next barbecue, grilled tofu can be a delicious meat-free grilling option!

Slicing Tofu

Photos via Edible Perspective

Grilling tofu: tips for getting it perfect!

I prefer to use extra-firm tofu when grilling because the moisture content is lower and it holds up better on the grill. Tofu that is “firm” will also work but the resulting texture will be much softer. If you have silken tofu, you’ll want to save that variety for vegan quiche and pudding recipes.

Now that we know what type of tofu to use, let’s move on.

How To Press Tofu

There are really only two rules when grilling tofu to ensure you don’t experience a stuck-to-the-grill mess.

1. Oil the grill grates and your tofu. Oiling both the grates and the tofu will help ensure there is no sticking. The tofu should easily flip with the help of a large metal spatula.

2. Temperature is key! You are looking for your grill to be right around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. I used to swear by grilling tofu at 400 degrees but since realized you’ll have much more even cooking, less burnt edges, and a more palatable interior texture. Cooking slightly longer at a lower temperature will also create a thin crust on the exterior of the tofu.

Seasoning Tofu For the Grill

My favorite method for greasing your grill grates is to pour a few tablespoons of a high-heat safe oil (such as avocado, sunflower, safflower, etc.) into a bowl and brush the grates with a silicone brush. You’ll want to do this quickly and just before you set your tofu on the grill.

If your grill is like mine then it has hot spots and lots of them. Not to worry! You’ll just have to keep a closer eye on the tofu and flip as they finish to your liking. Each side will take about 4-8 minutes to achieve a lightly crispy and golden brown exterior with a soft and juicy center.

Grilling Tofu

Yes, I just called this tofu juicy and we haven’t even put sauce on it. And no, I don’t mean watery.

Plate of Grilled Tofu

Once the tofu is finished on the grill feel free to slather with your favorite barbecue sauce and stuff into a bun, chop up and toss on a salad, or go the simple route and dunk into ketchup or barbecue sauce.

Yummy Grilled Tofu

Recipe for grilled tofu

  • 1, 14 ounce package of extra-firm tofu, drained
  • High-heat safe oil (such as avocado, sunflower or safflower)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried oregano (optional)

Step 1

Slice tofu in 6-7 even slabs and place on a doubled over kitchen towel.

Step 2

Fold the towel over and place a large cutting board on top of the tofu (you want the cutting board large enough to cover the tofu) dry side up. Place 3-4 heavy books on top and let the tofu press for 10-12 minutes.
Chef’s tip: When cooking tofu in the oven or pan I like to press it for 20 minutes or longer, but I found a shorter press time works best for the grill.

Step 3

While the tofu is pressing preheat your grill to 350 F.

Step 4

Place the tofu on a large plate or baking sheet and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon or so of the oil. Liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper and add a few shakes of garlic and oregano. Gently rub the oil and spices all over both sides of each slab.

Step 5

Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a small bowl and take outside with a grill brush and your tofu.

Step 6

Quickly brush the grill grates with oil and set your tofu on the grill. Be sure to leave a couple inches between each slab for easier flipping.

Step 7

Grill each side of the tofu for 4-8 minutes. This will vary depending on the hot spots on your grill. Flip the tofu when it has deep, golden brown grill marks and a light golden brown crust starts to form. Applying pressure against the grates slide your metal spatula under each slab and flip. Grill until finished on both sides.

Recipe notes:

  • If you’re worried about some of the tofu finishing early preheat your oven (before you start grilling) to 225 F and place on a baking sheet to stay warm while the remaining tofu finishes grilling.
  • If you want to eat the tofu at room temp or chilled, place on a cooling rack, allowing to cool at room temperature or in the fridge for about 20 – 30 minutes.
  • To store, place cooled tofu in a sealed container in the fridge for 1-2 days. Reheat in the oven at 400 degrees F until heated through or in a sauté pan over medium heat with a bit of oil.

Soft Interior Texture of Grilled Tofu

Do you have any tofu grilling tricks you’d like to share?