Switching to plant-based doesn’t have to mean giving up all your BBQ favorites! We love smoked vegan food, like these BBQ tofu bowls with sweet pineapple, savory spice rub, and a load of smoky flavor!
Vegans dieters quickly get to know the best plant-based tofu burgers and hot dogs, and which brands leave something to be desired in the flavor and texture department.
And while we love a good veggie dog or burger on a hot summer’s day, plant-based BBQ foods don’t stop there - once you learn how to smoke tofu, the game changes completely. Smoking tofu is a less time-consuming process than smoking meat because tofu takes a fraction of the time to heat.
This recipe does not lack flavor - between the homemade, dry BBQ rub, miso marinade, and BBQ sauce, your tastebuds will be partying with every bite!
We like building our smoked BBQ tofu in a bowl along with a scoop of steamed rice.
Whether you’re a vegan looking for some new BBQ options or an omnivore excited to find new things to smoke on a smoker, we highly recommend you try out this tasty recipe.
Smoked Bean Curd - Nutrition Information
Per serving: ¼ recipe
Calories: 515 kcal; Carbohydrates: 92 g; Protein: 14 g; Fat: 11 g; Sodium: 1099 mg; Fiber: 8 g; Sugar: 39 g.
*These numbers are an estimate only and will vary with recipe preparation.
Smoked Tofu Recipe - FAQ
What is smoked tofu?
Tofu has a very light and mild taste naturally, which is why you’ll often see it packaged with flavorings. One popular flavor is smoked, and though the packaged versions are okay, nothing tastes better than tofu smoked straight on your own smoker at home!
Much like smoked meat, placing a block of tofu in a smoker will infuse it with the smoky flavor of whichever wood you choose to smoke. We love the fruity quality of apple or cherry wood with tofu, but you can also try hickory or any other wood for slightly different results.
Smoking tofu gives it a BBQ flavor that is reminiscent of a non-vegan favorite, bacon.
Is smoked tofu healthy?
Yes! It’s a plant-based food that’s high in protein, low in fat, and loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. This smoked BBQ tofu contains quite a bit of sugar, so it’s best kept as a treat meal to enjoy in moderation.
If you’d like to lighten up the sugar, use less BBQ sauce and cut down the sugar in the spice rub.
Is smoked tofu vegan?
Smoked tofu is 100% safe for a vegan-friendly diet.
Can I use another type of tofu?
We used firm, but you can easily swap it out for extra-firm tofu if you’d like. We don’t recommend trying to use soft or silken tofu for this recipe, as they’ll completely fall apart in the smoker. The water content in these more delicate tofu types is far too high for it to cook properly using this method.
Do I need to press my tofu?
Yes! Pressing might seem like an easy step to skip, but it makes all the difference in how your tofu recipe turns out. Tofu is relatively high in water, acting like an absorbent sponge that comes out of the package already soaked.
Press the tofu to remove its water so it can suck up your marinade and sauces more effectively. Pressing helps us determine how long to marinate tofu and speeds the process along. Plus, you’ll avoid any excess sogginess.
We use a tofu press and leave the block for 15 minutes. If you don’t own a press, you can place your tofu block between two paper towel-lined plates. This method takes longer. You should leave at least 2-3 hours for your tofu to press.
What can I serve with it?
We made our BBQ tofu into a rice bowl to add some healthy veggies and grains to this high-protein meal. That, and we just think it’s delicious served this way!
You can also pair your smoked tofu with stir-fried veggies, rice noodles on a bun like “BBQ pork,” or roasted potato salad. All BBQ food goes well with sthis superfood!
Final Notes on BBQ Tofu
This BBQ tofu is well-loved by vegans and non-vegans alike - try it at your next backyard BBQ and watch these tofu morsels disappear!
Smoked Tofu Bowls With Pineapple, Avocado, and Bbq Sauce
1 14-oz package firm or extra-firm tofu
2 Tbsp dry rub (see recipe below)
1 c. BBQ sauce
1 Tbsp dried miso soup mix
8 oz warm water
1 c. uncooked white rice
2 c. coconut water
2 c. fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, cubed, and skewered
1 medium avocado, skin and pip removed, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and shredded or thinly sliced
Fresh chopped cilantro and sesame seeds, to garnish
1 c. brown sugar
½ c. kosher salt
4 Tbsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp coarse black pepper
½ Tbsp cumin
½ Tbsp onion powder
½ Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Smoked Tofu Marinade
Dry Rub Ingredients
Remove your firm or extra-firm tofu from its package and slice it lengthwise down the middle, creating 2 1-inch thick slabs. Press your tofu block in a tofu press for 15 mins. (See FAQ for how to press the tofu without a tofu press.)
Once the tofu drains, remove it from the press and cut the slabs into 1-inch cubes. Set aside.
Prepare the miso marinade. Place 1 Tbsp of the dry miso mix with 8 oz of warm water in a large zippered freezer bag or a shallow glass dish, and stir until well combined. Place the tofu cubes in the bag or container and cover them in the fridge for 1 hr.
Prepare your smoker to 250°F with fruit tree wood, like apple or cherry.
Remove the tofu from the marinade, season it with a dry rub (recipe below), and place the tofu on the smoker for 2-3 hrs.
Check the tofu periodically - once it starts to feel slightly firm to the touch, remove it from your smoker and place it in a bowl.
Add the BBQ sauce to the tofu, stir to coat it well, and set the tofu back in the smoker for another 20 mins. Add the pineapple skewers to the smoker to warm them.
Remove the tofu from the smoker and toss in a bit of remaining BBQ sauce. Remove the pineapple from the smoker.
To make the tofu bowls, cook your rice according to the package directions with coconut water in place of regular water. Slice your avocado, bell pepper, carrots, and cilantro.
Arrange your bowls with the rice base, then top with tofu, pineapple, fresh veggies, cilantro, and sesame seeds. Add an extra drizzle of BBQ or soy sauce if you’d like!
Serve and enjoy your smoked tofu bowls!
Dry Rub Directions
Combine all dry rub ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl - brown sugar, salt, smoked paprika, coarse black pepper, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne. Stir well to combine.
Transfer the mixture to a jar or sealed, airtight container, and store for up to 1 year in a cool, dry cupboard.