EZ Tofu Press – Review & Giveaway

You can do a lot with one action.  Take pressing, for example.  Press a shirt and impress your boss.  Press coal and make a diamond.  Press wood and fill your dorm room with Ikea-style furniture.  Press tofu and turn a bland, water-logged sponge into a dense, toothsome protein that’s ready to be filled with whatever marinade or flavor agents you desire. (Plus, if you want to fry tofu, by taking the water out, you’ve put yourself in a good position for crispy outer edges.)

So if a person wants to press tofu, where to begin?  Well, there are lots of options out there.  (FYI, for the purposes of this post, the tofu I’m referring to is water-packaged firm or extra firm, which is ideal for baking, frying, or grilling.)  Today I’ll be talking about a newer tofu press on the market, the EZ Tofu Press.  I was contacted recently by the folks at EZ Tofu Press to try out their press for a review (and a giveaway!)

This press is made with two plastic plates (with no BPA) held together with two screws and tension knobs.  The tofu is slid between the plates, and the press is laid on its side in a bowl or in the sink to gather the dripping water.  To press the tofu, a person has to tighten the knobs occasionally until it’s reached the desired firmness.  The pressing process can take as short as 15 or 20 minutes or as long as overnight, depending on your needs.

I’ve written before about a couple of other tofu pressing methods, and so with a third tofu pressing method at my disposal, it seemed only right to do a little side-by-side comparison.  Are you ready to rumble?  (For those following along at home, start the Rocky theme now…)

In our first corner, weighing in at $0 we have the old school, book and weight method!  Tofu is cut into six slices, sandwiched between two kitchen towels on a dinner plate, and then topped with a hardcover book and a heavy weight.  (No, not Clubber Lang.  I’m talking about a kettlebell here.)

In our second corner, weighing in at about $50 (with shipping) we have the Tofu Xpress.  The tofu goes into the box of the Xpress, a lid with spring snaps into place, and the excess water fills to the top.

While the tofu pressed, I moved it into a salad bowl to catch dripping water.

Finally, in our third corner, we have the newest contender, weighing in at $25 (with shipping), the EZ Tofu Press!  Unscrew the bolts to loosen the plates, slide in the tofu, and then tighten the bolts until the water begins to drip from the block.

After all of the tofu blocks were fully pressed, here were the results:

Book/weight method –  Using this method, the tofu pressed down to 1 inch thick.  While this method totally works and costs nothing, it can be a bit of a hassle pulling together all of the set-up elements, washing the kitchen towels afterwards, and making room in the refrigerator for a ten pound kettlebell.

Tofu Xpress – Using this method, the tofu pressed down to 1 1/4 inches thick.  The Tofu Xpress works pretty well, but the cost of $50 with shipping is on the higher side for a plastic box.  It also has small plastic pieces that can break (that happened to me a couple of times within about a year); although, the people at Tofu Xpress said that’s highly unusual.  On the plus side, the Tofu Xpress looks the fanciest and comes with a little box that holds the water that’s removed from the tofu, making it easy to fit in the refrigerator.

EZ Tofu Press – Using this method, the tofu pressed down to 1 1/8 inches thick. (I sliced the tofu first for the book/weight method, and I imagine if a person sliced the tofu for the EZ Tofu Press first and then pressed, it would make the tofu even denser.) I thought it might be a hassle tending to it, but it really was no big deal just tightening the knobs occasionally.  I’d simply stop turning at the point that there was resistance in the knobs, and then after some water came out, I could tighten them more.

The first time I used the EZ Tofu Press, I pressed the tofu for just a half an hour.  I was really impressed at how flat and dry it was in that short of time – great for a quick, weeknight meal.  The second time, I pressed it overnight (pictured above), and that gave an even denser pressing.  The design is pretty simple and basic, but that also means that there’s less to break on it.  I asked the makers of the press if they’ve had any problems with the bolts rusting over time, and they said, “These are stainless steel.  They will never rust.  FYI, these are expensive, not your local hardware store galvanized or zinc plated hardware.”

The EZ Tofu Press is top-rack dishwasher safe (no heat drying cycle is recommended).  I ran it through the dishwasher once to test it out, and it did fine.  Although, it’s probably just as easy to quickly wash it with a soapy rag since it doesn’t have any nooks or crannies to to clean.  As an added benefit, since the EZ Tofu Press is basically just two plates, it stores easily in small spaces.

Want to try out the EZ Tofu Press for yourself?  You’re in luck!  The folks at EZ Tofu Press are offering one press for a giveaway.  (Updated to include:  This giveaway is open to residents of the United States only.)  You have several ways of entering below using Rafflecopter.  The giveaway ends at 12:01 a.m. on October 2, 2012, and the winner will be announced later that day.  Can’t wait to see if you’ve won?  It’s available now on Amazon!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I didn’t receive any payment for this review.  I was given the EZ Tofu Press for free, but the opinions are completely my own.

78 thoughts on “EZ Tofu Press – Review & Giveaway

    • What a great idea! I only use sriracha on already prepared foods, like a rice noodle stir-fry, but baking it with agave sounds delightful!

  1. I love tofu a lot of different ways. One of the simplest is just sauteed with garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper and eaten with a little organic ketchup. Not glamorous, but perfectly easy and satisfying in a pinch.

  2. A new tofu press I haven’t heard of yet? Cool. I love kitchen gadgets — even if I already have a similar one. At the risk of adding more competition to an already growing field, I’ll mention that I use a Japanese pickle press that I’ve had for years. It’s similar in function to the tofu Xpress but round and much larger, and capable of making tasty pickled veggies as well as pressing tofu. I think it held three tofu blocks last Thanksgiving when I made a tofu turkey. :) But, I have to say, there’s something about the EZ tofu press that really appeals to me.

    • It’s always fun to discover a new gadget, isn’t it? After I had the press-off, I told David how much fun I thought it was. He said, “Of course you did.” What can I say? It’s the kind of thing I find entertaining!

      I’d like to learn more about this pickle press. Can it be used to make sauerkraut?

    • Oh, that sounds good! Did you make your own curry paste or use a jarred variety? I haven’t found a jarred variety yet that does it for me. I’d be happy for suggestions if you have any!

  3. i also should add, because it’s a personal mission of mine. how much i hate like gating. thanks for making it optional, but i think it’s super manipulative and yucky. i was already following you on twitter and facebook because i like you and your blog. but asking people to follow you just to win prices gives me the yucks. i really really wish folks would stop with this stuff. if you have something to give away, just give it away! pretend it’s going to your great aunt martha or something…you’d never ask her to do extra stuff just to get a present would you?
    xo kittee

    • Thanks for being so candid, Kittee! I value your opinions and feedback. I have read on other blogs/forums that some people take issue with the practice of giving extra giveaway entries for Facebook, Twitter, tweeting, etc. To try to be conscious of that, about half of my giveaways in the past year have been comment only.

      That said, I love giveaways – both hosting them and competing for them. When other bloggers give extra entries for social media, I don’t experience it as being “manipulative” or “yucky.” If it’s someone whose blog I already follow, I’m kind of psyched that there’s even more chance of me winning. If it’s someone who’s new to me and I like their stuff, it’s no skin off my nose to add them to Twitter or whatever. If it’s someone whose work doesn’t resonate with me as much, then I only do what makes me feel comfortable. Sometimes that means that I don’t enter the giveaway altogether, because I’m just not interested in subscribing to their newsletter or what have you.

      In the past I’ve discovered cool new blogs, because someone else I follow tweeted about a giveaway or I noticed a friend liked it on Facebook because of a giveaway. I’m happy that I had an excuse to learn about them, and if someone learns about my blog through a giveaway, I hope that they’ll stick around, and that what I have to share will be of interest to them.

      • Hi Cadry!

        I feel like “like gating” is common and popular now, so many folks think it’s just fine because they see other folks doing it too. I think there is a lot of consumer manipulation involved with asking readers to jump through social media hoops, for a chance to win a prize. I didn’t mean to sound pedantic with my choice of words in my comment to you the other day, but that’s really how I was feeling.

        I read a lot of blogs, there are so many these days! So many good ones, too–food blogs, vegan blogs, vegan food blogs, lifestyle blogs, fashion blogs, etc. etc. I can’t possibly like each and every one on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, or I’d never be able to wade through all the posts. I choose the ones I like enough to follow.

        Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I find it so frustrating and aggravating to see a giveaway on a blog I really like, that asks me to add and friend for extra chances to win, when I really don’t want to add or friend that blog to win.

        I love finding new sites from my friends too, so when I read a tweet or other msg online, I assume they added or liked the site, because they really liked it (which usually means I will too!)–not because they liked it simply to win a prize.

        Thank you for allowing me to be candid here, I promised myself I would speak up when I saw like-gating on sites I admire and follow regularly.

        xo
        kittee

  4. I pretty much love tofu any which way, but I have two favs. One, I love making it crispy. Basically, I fry it in toasted sesame oil. Once I flip the pieces, I shoot it with some tamari. Mmmmm! My second favorite way is to just press the crap out of it (I wrap the block in paper towel and kitchen towels and put it under my water pitcher) and eat it cold. It’s not raw, obviously, because it’s pasteurized, but it’s delicious!

    I’ve never used a real tofu press before, but I’d love to! The hubs complains about my current method – ha!

    • Your sesame oil and tamari method sounds delightful! Both of those ingredients impart so much flavor. I have a friend who also loves tofu plain. I haven’t become a tofu lover to that degree yet, but there’s still time! :)

  5. I was going to enter earlier but I was pressed for time.
    I love the way all the contenders weighed in. I am currently utilizing the Veganomicon and a Gideon bible I swiped from a Ramada Inn as tofu presses. My favorite way to make tofu is laundered and pressed. or baked nuggets.I would like to be a winner. Thank you.

    • Cute play on words! Veganomicon is my go-to tofu press (when I’m not using one of the manufactured varieties). It’s great because it’s hefty and hardcover. (I used a softcover book once… Big mistake. It’s still crinkly from where it got too wet.) Plus, it’s just a fabulous cookbook in its own right.

      The baked nuggets sound so tasty! Do you bread them first, or just cut them into cubes?

  6. I freeze it, then thaw it, and just squeeze all the juice out like a sponge! Super easy, plus I can just keep a bunch of tofu in the freezer and never worry if I have some there.

    • That’s a great idea to keep it on hand in the freezer! Plus, you can stock up when it’s on sale. I always forget about the freezing/thawing method, but it makes a wonderful chewy texture!

  7. Great review! I like the looks of the EZ tofu press and I love that it’s easier to store. What I love most, though, is that you did the show-down in the front yard. :-)

    My favorite thing to do with tofu is either my chevre or a good scramble. :-)

    • What? Isn’t that where most people have their tofu pressing competitions? ;)

      Yes, I’m totally hooked on your chèvre. I didn’t get to eat much of yesterday’s batch, since David co-opted it for his weekly TV night with his friend. (Although, how much do I love it that my husband is toting chèvre over for a guys’ night, and that his friend, who is not vegan and has had it before, actually told David to bring plenty to share?)

    • Oh, my goodness! I love that recipe. It’s my go-to for summer get togethers and potlucks, and I always go home with an empty dish!

  8. Im new to cooking tofu, just cooked it the first time today actually. i didnt really know how to prepare it but i just browned the tofu cubes in some oil and added some chopped garlic and soy sauce. it came out pretty good. simple and delicious. i heard about a buffalo tofu that im eager to try though. good luck to everyone in the contest!

    • It sounds like you did well for your first go! Soy sauce and garlic go great with tofu. I’m eager to try buffalo tofu too!

  9. Pingback: Monday Announcements: 10.01.12 | Healthy Living Blogs

  10. I’ve been wanting one of these really badly but haven’t wanted to pony up the cash for it. I’d love to win because plain fried tofu to put in veggie stir fries is my favorite way of preparing it!

    • Good picks! The great thing about a scramble is how much you can change it up with vegetables and spices depending on your mood and the season. That cashew tofu ricotta sounds wonderful!

    • Excellent! Pressing it is a good place to start! I used to think I only liked tofu in restaurants, because I didn’t have much luck with it at home. That all changed after I learned about pressing it.

  11. My favorite way to prepare tofu is to marinate it whatever I feel like and then bake it and use it in sandwiches and salads. :)

  12. I love tofu every way! I can’t choose just one. Scrambled in the morning, marinated and baked for sandwiches at lunchtime, or just dry fried in a stir fry. it’s all good!

  13. My all-time favorite way to cook tofu is to make a peanut-flour batter for it, then pan-fry it. (Unfortunately, peanut flour can be hard to find.)

  14. I love baked tofu best – a little soy sauce, a little olive oil, some minced garlic. Perfect in sandwiches, pilaf, stir fry…everything! (Although mostly I just ravenously eat it straight out of the pan. ;p)

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