Smoked Tofu Burnt Ends

© 2024 Wicked Foods Inc. All rights reserved.
smoked tofu burnt ends recipe
Soooo-eeee, these are some damn fine tasting burnt ends! Chewy, smoky, crispy, savory, juicy, and rich. They’re actually double-smoked: once naked, and the second time after being marinated, rubbed, and sauced. After the first smoking, the tofu cubes sit overnight in the marinade, so give yourself some breathing room when making these. Good barbecue takes time! After several hours over burning wood, these little bites are full of irresistible smoke flavor! I like to serve the burnt ends as-is, like a starter or small plate. But you could wrap them into a taco, make them a sandwich, or fold them into another dish as a high-flavor protein. Experiment!
  • Author: Dave Joachim
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


  • 2 tubs (14 oz each) extra-firm tofu
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus some for greasing
  • 1/3 cup BBQ dry rub
  • 1 1/2 tsp potato starch or cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce
  • 3 Tbsp melted plant-based butter


  1. For the marinade, whisk together all the marinade ingredients in a 1 to 1 1/2 quart lidded container. Set aside.
  2. For the tofu, fire up a smoker to 225ºF. It doesn’t matter what type of smoker – maintaining steady smoke and a 225ºF temp are the most important things. Grease a Frogmat or other smoke-permeable tray. The Frogmats are nice because they let lots of smoke through. Perfect for veg, tofu, and other plant-based proteins.
  3. Drain the tofu but skip pressing out the water. We want the water in there for now because smoke sticks best to water. Cut both blocks of tofu into 1-inch cubes, toss them in about 2 tablespoons of oil, then spread out on the greased tray.
  4. Set the tray in your smoker and smoke the tofu at 225ºF until it feels much firmer and the edges are golden brown from smoke, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  5. Remove the tofu with spatula and, while still hot, transfer to the marinade in the container. Seal and shake the container to distribute the marinade and coat the tofu. Immediately refrigerate, and then chill overnight. During that time, give the container a shake to re-distribute the marinade.
  6. The next day, fire up your smoker again, this time to 300ºF. Mix together the BBQ dry rub and potato starch or cornstarch in a medium bowl.
  7. Remove the tofu from the marinade and toss it in the rub mix. Re-grease the frogmat, then return the rubbed tofu to the tray, spreading out the cubes. Return the tray to the smoker, and smoke until the edges are crisp and charred, about 1 hour.
  8. Remove the tofu with a spatula and toss with the BBQ sauce. Return to the tray and to the smoker for one last time until the sauce sets, about 15 minutes. Gently brush with more sauce and continue smoking until that layer of sauce sets, about 15 minutes.
  9. Remove and toss in the butter until well coated. Serve warm.


tofu on mat
Be sure to spread the tofu our on your perforated baking mat so they can pick up lots of smoke.
smoked tofu on smoker
After an hour or two on the smoker, the tofu will shrink a bit and appear light brown on the edges, a sign that it’s taking on smoke.
smoked tofu burnt ends recipe
After an overnight marinade, the final step is to toss the tofu in BBQ rub, then in BBQ sauce, so the burnt ends can pick up even more flavor on the smoker!

Search our Recipes