Food & Drink Magazine

BBQ Tofu Burnt Ends

By Chuck Underwood @brandnewvegan

The next time you want to impress your friends (or just want a super-tasty snack) throw some of these BBQ Tofu Burnt Ends on the grill!  You may have weekend dinner guests for life!

bbq tofu burnt ends

Who knew a little square of Tofu could be so…..well…….so….. GOOD!?

The secret to making these smoky little morsels is twofold…

  1.  You’re going to want to freeze your package of Tofu.  I don’t know what kind of magic happens once it’s frozen, but the texture changes significantly from a soft, squishy square of Tofu to a dense, meaty block of BBQ goodness once you shake on the rub and the sauce….
  2. Speaking of rub – this simple homemade rub adds SO much flavor and is the key to making a successful BBQ out of Tofu.

Tofu by itself is pretty flavorless but DOES soak up whatever flavor you give it.

So by adding a basic rub made from common pantry seasonings, we’ll transform this mushy block of soy curd into something amazing that any Pit Master would be proud of.

Sounds crazy right?

Well, there’s only one way to find out isn’t there?

And it’s really easy to make too.

So come on, grab a cold one  – and let’s go BBQ some Tofu!

BBQ Tofu Burnt Ends

bbq tofu burnt ends

BBQ Tofu Burnt Ends | Brand New Vegan

Like I mentioned earlier, I really recommend you freeze your package of Tofu.  I used extra firm, and just threw the whole thing into the freezer until it was rock solid.

Then, maybe the night before, pull the package out and place it into a gallon-sized ziplock.  Then toss it in your fridge to start thawing.  The next morning place it in your sink to finish.

Once thawed, remove the Tofu and drain all the water.  Then slice it in half thickness-wise, so you have 2 blocks of Tofu about 1″ thick.  Place these blocks between some paper towels and lay something flat on top to help press out any moisture.  We want the Tofu as dry as we can get it.

Press the Tofu for at least 30 minutes, and change the paper towels out frequently.

Meanwhile, while the Tofu is doing its thing, let’s preheat the oven to 300° F and make the rub.

Simply take all the rub ingredients listed below and mix them together in a small bowl.  Store the rub in a pint-sized Mason jar or equivalent.

Once the tofu has been pressed, cut it into 12 equal-sized cubes and place into a ziplock bag.  We are going to add 1 Tbs of Apple Juice (any liquid really) to give the rub something to stick to.  Shake gently so all the surfaces are wetted down and then add 2 Tbs of the rub.

Again shake the bag of Tofu gently so all the surfaces are covered in the rub.

Now we’re going to bake the Tofu in a 300° F oven for 15 minutes.  I used a parchment-lined baking sheet.  The idea is to further dry out the Tofu and also set the rub so it’s ready for the BBQ.

Now – we’re ready to grill.

Prepare your grill and place your Burnt ends on a grill pan over the indirect heat side of your BBQ (we don’t want to burn them – just smoke them).  If you’re using wood chips for smoking, add those now and also brush on your favorite BBQ sauce.

Now we slowly BBQ the little square of goodness, turning and basting with BBQ sauce often, until a nice bark has formed on the outside of each square.


Careful though – these little babies are addicting!

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below, and until next week….

Happy BBQ!


BBQ Tofu Burnt Ends

BBQ Tofu Burnt Ends

BBQ Tofu Burnt Ends

The next time you want to impress your non-vegan friends (or just want a super-tasty snack) throw some of these BBQ Tofu Burnt Ends on the grill!  You may have weekend dinner guests for life! 

  • 1 pkg Extra Firm Tofu
  • 1 Tbs Apple Juice
  • 2 Tbs Rub ((recipe below))
  • Your favorite BBQ Sauce

Basic Rub

  • 1/4 cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 cup Paprika
  • 2 Tbs Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbs Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbs Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper ((or more to taste))
  1. Freeze Tofu prior to making the recipe  (not absolutely necessary but highly recommended).   Then thaw before continuing. 

  2. Drain Tofu and slice it into 2 even blocks about 1″ thick.  

  3. Press Tofu between paper towels for at least 30 minutes.  Place something flat on top to help the process.  Change towels frequently. 

  4. While Tofu is pressing, preheat oven to 300 degrees F. 

  5. Mix all rub ingredients together until uniform and store in an airtight container until needed.  I used a 1 pint Mason Jar with lid. 

  6. Once Tofu is finished pressing, slice each block into 12 equal cubes and place in a ziplock bag with the Apple Juice.  Shake gently. 

  7. Add 2 Tbs of the Rub to the bag and again, shake gently to ensure all surfaces of Tofu are covered. 

  8. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the 300-degree oven for 15 minutes. 

  9. The Tofu is now ready for the BBQ.  Place over indirect-heat and gently brush on your favorite sauce.  Turn frequently and continue basting until a nice bark has formed.  

  10. Serve as an appetizer or as a tasty addition to your Summer BBQ Meal. 

Tips are always welcome!

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