A method of manufacturing porous ceramic tubes for fuel cells with improved properties and higher manufacturing yield is disclosed. The method involves extruding a closed end fuel cell tube, such as an air electrode of a solid oxide fuel cell, in which the closed end also functions as the sintering support. The resultant fuel cell tube has a superior porosity distribution which allows improved diffusion of oxygen at the closed end of the tube during operation of the fuel cell. Because this region has the highest current density, performance enhancement and improved reliability of the fuel cell tube result. Furthermore, the higher manufacturing yield associated with the present method decreases the overall fuel cell cost.