How to Reheat Tri-Tip?

How to reheat tri-tip is a question that you might be wondering if you are fond of this triangular cut of beef. In this guide, we discuss the easiest ways to reheat tri-tip while maintaining its moisture.

Ensure to keep the temperature low if you choose to use an oven when reheating. A moist environment prevents the tri-tip from drying up and losing its juiciness, so you can add water.  You may also substitute the water with a broth of your choosing. 

We also answer related questions including: Is it safe to reheat or cook meat in a microwave? How do you keep meat from drying when reheating?  Find all the answers below.

What is Tri-Tip? 

Tri-tip is the part of the bottom sirloin subprimal cut

 Note: Tri-tip is different from sirloin tip.

The texture of the meat is a combination of tender and toughness, consequently, it is very easy to undercook or overcook.  The question is how do you guarantee the perfect results every time?

  1. Make sure the meat reaches the right internal temperature.
  2. Instead of warming tri-tip on direct heat, use indirect heat to prevent overcooking meat when reheating it.
  3. Be patient and learn how to check for doneness.

There are two ways to check for doneness, one is by hand, and the other is by using a thermometer.  We recommend using a thermometer because it lessens the risk of you burning yourself and you do not have to take the meat out of the oven.

reheat tri-tip

Temperature Guide for Cooking Tri-Tip

MethodCooking GuideRare recommended internal temperatureMedium rare recommended internal temperatureWell done recommended internal temperature
BroilSet broiler to maximum temperature (450-500). 10 to 15 minutes per pound. 135 degrees F140 Degrees F160 Degrees F
Slow cookSet slow cooker on maximum heat for three to four hours.   
StewingSimmer in broth or stew for one to four hours depending on temperature.    
RoastRoast in oven preheated to 450 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.    

How to Reheat Tri-Tip

How to Reheat Tri-tip in a Microwave

A simple way to reheat leftover tri-tip is to use a microwave.

As mentioned, the main concern most people have when using microwaves is that the meat comes out dry.

To fix this problem, you may wrap the meat in an oven bag before putting it in the microwave.  Wrapping meat or any other food in an oven bag helps to retain flavor and keeps the food from drying.

If wrapping your steak in an oven bag does not sound appealing, you may make a wet “bread bed” for the meat.

The steam formed when heat passes through the bread into the meat will ensure that your meat stays moist.

To that end, moisten the appropriate amount of bread with broth, stock, or water.  After that, place the meat on top of the wet bread. You may also cover the meat with wet bread.

To ensure safety when you reheat tri-tip in a microwave, only use FDA-approved microwaves.  Also, if you buy a plastic container for your microwave, make sure that it is BPA-free.

How to Reheat Tri-tip in an Oven

How to Reheat Tri-tip in an Oven

To prevent dry meat when reheating in an oven, you may place water in a baking pan below the meat, then set the temperature at 200 to 250 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the steak is warm enough.  The idea is:

  1. Heat the oven to preferred heat (200 to 350F)
  2. Place a saucepan with hot/ warm water beneath a roasting rack.
  3. Place the tri-tip on top of the roasting rack.
  4. You may loosely wrap the meat with aluminum foil, but that is not necessary.

It should take anywhere from five to 10 minutes depending on oven temperature to reach the recommended 165F internal temperature.  To add more flavor and lessen the possibility of dry leftover, you may marinate the meat overnight then warm it in the oven.

How to reheat tri-tip in an oven to achieve optimal taste and texture? Overall, what is important to remember is that the internal temperature should reach 135 to 165 degrees.

Just like undercooked meat, leftovers may also cause food poisoning.  The problem is, for some people leftovers are less appealing to eat especially when reheated in the oven or microwave.  The commonality here is a loss of flavor and potential dryness. The tips above help to prevent this.

Mistakes to avoid when reheating tri-tip

  • Do not cook thick tri-tip/ meat straight from the fridge, instead, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 to 60 minutes.
  • You may cook or reheat thinner cuts directly from the fridge because the lower temperature will give the meat more time to warm up.
  • Germs and bacteria start to die at around 140 degrees.  Do not eat undercooked meat.
  • Reheating meat multiple times reduces nutritional content, flavor, and if not done correctly.  May heighten the possibility of food poisoning.  We recommend reheating meat once or twice.
  • Serve reheated food immediately to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
  • preheat the oven.
  • It is safer to use a probe or thermometer to check meat doneness.  Contact with a hot oven surface may lead to serious injury.  So, avoid sticking your hand or finger into a hot oven.
  • Be patient, the more you open the oven door, the longer the meat will take to reach the recommended internal temperature.

How to Reheat Tri-Tip on a Grill

If you do not have access to an oven or microwave, you may reheat tri-tip on a grill.  To do that, wrap the steak in aluminum foil then place it on the grill.  This will keep moisture from escaping.  You may also marinate the meat overnight to add flavor and improve moisture content.

You may reheat food using indirect heat.  This option is great in that it lessens the possibility of burning.

The whole idea behind indirect grilling is that you do not place food on the direct path of the heat.  Instead, the goal here is to cook or reheat food using hot air.  Left uncovered, it may take a while for the food to reach the recommended internal temperature, so we recommend that you cover the food to keep the hot air from escaping.

You may also cut the tri-tip into small pieces, then use skewers to make kebabs.  However, this option only works with steak and not meat in stews.

How to Reheat Tri-Tip in a Saucepan

Another method to reheat tri-tip is to use a saucepan.

First, pour around half a cup of gravy into a saucepan. Heat it under medium-heat setting. Wait till there are large bubbles forming in the broth.

Place the pieces of tri-tips in the saucepan. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let sit for approximately 15 minutes before flipping the meat over.

Further Tips on Reheating Tri-Tip

How to Reheat Tri-Tip that is Undercooked

You are not the first person to ever overcook meat nor will you be the last.  What is important to remember is if you overcook tri-tip or any other cut of beef, there are ways to “rescue” the meal.  One way to rescue overcooked beef is to simmer it in broth or water on low heat for a few minutes. Doing that will warm the meat without overcooking it further.  You may also shred the steak, beef, or tri-tip to make sandwich fillings or pie.

What is important to remember here is, when warming overcooked meat, set the temperature to low.

To avoid overcooking.  It is important to know how to check for doneness. 

How to Check Tri-Tip Steak Doneness

One way to tell if tri-tip is done is to cut into the meat and examine it or take a bite of it.  If that is not an option and you do not have a thermometer, you may check doneness with your hand. 

The idea is to feel the palm of your hand, specifically the area just below your thumb. Then compare it to how the meat feels.

To this this, begin in a relaxed position. Position your other hand’s index finger on the base of the fleshy part between your thumb, and the base of your hand, then push.  That is what raw tri-tip or steak feels like. 

It is worth noting that checking meat doneness by hand is not 100% fool proof.  By that I mean there is the possibility that you might burn your finger, overreact to the heat, and hurt yourself, or if your finger is contaminated.  You may transfer viruses, germs or bacteria to the meat. Therefore, if the tri-tip is still in the oven.  Avoid putting your whole hand inside the hot oven, also clean your hands before you touch the Meat. Remember, the more fingers that touch the meat, the higher the likely hood of contamination. What threat is there?

Multiple studies have found that several types of salmonella including S.anatum can survive on human fingers for extended periods of time. The right way to prevent this kind of contamination is by cleaning your hands with antibacterial/antiviral soap before you touch meat.

Do you prefer medium, medium rare, rare, or well done?

Depending on the level of doneness you prefer.  Different finger gestures shown below will guide you.


If your goal is rare tri-tip, experts recommend that you first brown the meat fat side down on a very hot pan then roast it for about four minutes on both sides.  After that, put the meat in the oven and cook for ten or twelve minutes a pound.  The ideal internal temperature for rare tri-tip is 135 degrees.

If you do not have a thermometer, you will have to use the palm of your hand as explained.

To check for rare doneness, touch the tips of your index finger and thumb to make an OK sign.  Use your other index finger to feel the fleshy area just below your thumb.  Meat or tri-tip cooked to rare doneness should have a similar feel to it.

physical characteristics of meat cooked to rare doneness

  • Red center.
  • Internal temperature higher than 125 degrees F.
  • There maybe a bit of blood on the inside.
  • Dark outer later and bright red insides.
Medium rare

To check medium rare, touch your thumb with your middle finger then feel fleshy area and compare it to the meat.

Tip: get someone else to touch your palm when unsure/get a second opinion.

  • Internal temperature higher than 135 degrees F.
  • Dark and firm on the outside and reddish inside.
  • Very little or no blood on the inside.

For medium doneness, press the tips of your ring finger and thumb, then feel the fleshy part just below your thumb.

Note that there are three levels of medium doneness, that is medium, medium rare and medium rare. The characteristics meat cooked to these three levels of doneness include:

  • An internal temperature above 130 degrees F for medium, 145 degrees medium rare, and 155 for medium well.
  • A firm outside and soft and juicy interior.
  • Little or no blood on the insides.

Well done

For a well-done tri-tip steak, the meat should feel like the fleshy area beneath your thumb when your pinky touches the thumb.

  • Dark or charred on the outside.
  • No pink or red on the inside.

Tip, to keep steak from becoming tough cook on low heat.

How to Reheat Tri-Tip that is Undercooked

The problem with undercooking meat is bacteria, germs, and viruses may survive the cooking process.  Furthermore, there is also the problem of tough tri-tip.  Consuming tough cuts of meat is not only bad for your digestive system, but it may also break your teeth or ruin family dinner.

The good news is fixing or reheating undercooked tri-tip is not as difficult as fixing overcooked meat.

Depending on how undercooked it is, you may gently cook the meat on a frying pan, roast it, stew it, or slow cook it.  To make the process go faster, you may slice the meat into smaller slices or portions.  Doing that will allow the meat to cook evenly.

You should also note that cutting the meat into smaller pieces will let the juices escape.  So, it is best to cut meat into smaller potions if you plan to use the meat in a stew, pie, or as a sandwich filling.

Is it Okay to Reheat Undercooked Tri-Tip in a Microwave?

You may microwave undercooked tri-tip, the question is, should you?

The thing is, experts recommend that you let steak sit for at least 15 minutes before cutting.  By that time, your grill or oven should be cool, meaning you would have to repeat the process of lighting and waiting again if the meat is undercooked.  Microwaving steak is a short cut that most meat enthusiast frown upon because they assume:

  • Some microwaves do not cook steaks evenly.
  • Microwaving destroys nutrients.
  • Microwaves cook food from the inside.
  • At higher temperatures, muscle fibers in the meat cooked in a microwave constrict, squeezing fluid out. The result is a dry steak.

The truth is microwaves do not cook food from the inside, and according to research, microwaving food helps to preserve nutrients.

Therefore, cooking meat in a microwave is safe if the internal temperature of the meat reaches 145 to 160 degrees.  Because, at said temperatures.  All pathogens in the meat die.

The only true assumption is that microwaving dries meat.

General Safety Guidelines for Reheating Meat

According to CDC estimates, every year, forty-eight million Americans get sick with food poisoning, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3000 die.  What that means is, food safety is very important.  After reading the article, you already know that the recommended internal temperature for reheated meat is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.  But that is not the only concern you should have.

Health practitioners recommend:

  • Avoid refreezing leftovers that have already been defrosted.
  • If the food has not been defrosted completely, increase the cooking time, or let it defrost completely before warming.
  • Frozen leftovers can remain fresh for up to three to four months.  After that, the food may still be okay to eat, but the texture will have changed.
  • Freeze or cool leftovers within two hours after cooking.
  • Always serve reheated leftovers immediately.

Summary: How to Reheat Tri-tip?

reheating tri-tip
Reheating tri-tip

Generally, there are a few main ways to reheat tri-tip, that is, using a microwave, oven, grill, or saucepan.  But if you do not have access to these appliances, you may wrap the meat in aluminum foil then expose it to a heat source.

To avoid drying out the meat, you can create a wet bread bed for the steak, chicken, or meat before you put it in the oven, grill, or microwave.

Remember, the method you choose to reheat tri-tip will affect the texture and taste of the meat.

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