I've been following Glue and Glitter for a while, and lately she's been making these cool videos, especially using her Air Fryer. As a new Air Fryer owner myself, I thought a tofu press might also be in order. Even though the EZ Tofu Press I found on Amazon was just under $20 and we eat tofu often, I decided I should try to make my own, mostly just for fun and power tools.
I headed to my local hardware store in southern Louisiana, and let me tell you, these guys were professionals who helped me. When I explained that I wanted to make a tofu press, and what that was and how I planned to make it, they just helped me find what I needed with zero comments about tofu or vegetarians or anything else. The stereotypes were not strong here, even though they had never heard of tofu press and probably never ate tofu. One of the many reasons I love my small local hardware store- they totally support my crazy and just sell me what I need (even when I told them I was painting my door bright orange, which in retrospect I kind of wish someone had talked me out of).
2 long stainless steel screws (You want it about an inch longer than your thickest block of tofu is thick)
2 regular nuts
2 wing nuts (for hand tightening)
I went with the thinnest options because they were the cheapest, and I wanted to stay under the $20 of the one I found online. These cost me just under $8. I got all stainless steel so it was food safe and wouldn't rust when it got wet or I cleaned it.
Also, you need a medium sized plastic cutting board (or two small ones). I found one at the grocery store for $7.
Here you can see the order of the hardware. Bolt, board, washer, nut, board, washer, wing nut.
I cut the cutting board in half with my Ryobi sawsall, which is my favorite power tool by a landslide, just FYI. I once cut down a tree with it. Anyway, I cut the cutting board into two rectangles that left plenty of room for a block (two, in fact) and room to drill holes on the sides. I drilled the holes about a half inch from the edge on each side, fairly centered. The cutting board I used had a handle, so I left that part sticking up and now my tofu press had a handle.
While I'm proud of my creation, I honestly see the improvements made to create the EZ Tofu Press, and I'd probably recommend spending $4 more dollars than I spent on parts and just getting the good one. If you happen to have an extra plastic cutting board, though, this would be a good use for it rather than throw it away, so there's that too.
You can always just wrap your tofu in a clean kitchen towel or two and place on a plate with another plate and something heavy on top, and that is by far the most economical and minimalist approach. This is just a fun project.
If you make one, let me know in the comments how it turns out!
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I love cooking and playing in the kitchen with my toys, so let me share that joy with you and your family to bring the FUN back into the kitchen!