Reheat Tri Tip. How To Avoid Its Dehydration During Warming?


Tri-tip, also known as triangle steak, is the lower loin thigh part of the beef. It is a special steak piece, a mixture of fat and lean meat. Because of that, determining the correct temperature to cook it is not easy.

Furthermore, you may know how to reheat tri-tip with the correct technique and temperature to keep its freshness and flavor. This article is a guideline to help you rewarm this special piece of meat. Follow it for the more useful information!

Can You Reheat Tri-Tip?

Can You Reheat Tri-Tip

Tri-tip is a type of steak that is especially suitable for making grilled dishes

Yes, of course. You can completely reheat this beef if you store it properly. According to the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture), the maintained cooked beef should be below 40 oF in the refrigerator and used within 3 to 4 days. It means that when you do not guarantee the above two storage conditions, you should not continue to use them to avoid adverse health effects.

The second thing you need to keep in mind is to keep the tri-tip moist during the reheating process. When reheated, most meats don’t retain the same freshness they did after the first cooking, especially low-fat meats. As a result, they become dry, chewy, and even inedible. Therefore, you should find a way to keep the tri-tip moist while storing and reheating.

How To Reheat Tri-Tip

As mentioned above, before reheating this steak, you need to store it properly and retain as much water as possible. In addition, you also need to note a few tips, including:

  • Do not reheat it immediately after taking it out from the refrigerator, exception for the thin pieces
  • Put the meat at room temperature for 30 – 60 minutes before reheating
  • Use a small heat source to rewarm meat slowly without breaking the texture of it
  • Keep the temperature after reheating at least 140 F to let bacterias and germs die
  • Only reheat food at most twice. The more you reheat food, the more nutrients disappear or even be degraded, which is not good for your health.

In A Microwave

Many people will use a microwave-safe lidded container when reheating food to prevent it from becoming dehydrated. However, this only causes more steam to accumulate in the box. 

Instead, you should wrap the meat in parchment paper or wet bread around it to provide extra moisture. Then, the steps to reheat tri-tip microwave are:

  • Wrap the tri-tip with baking paper or bread soaked in water/sauce
  • Place the wrapped meat on a microwave-safe plate or container
  • Reheat it in Medium mode for a few minutes (depending on its weight and size)
  • Turn it evenly after 2-3 minutes to let the heat spread evenly
  • After taking the dish out, you should leave it for about 30 secs before opening the baking paper or bread to avoid steaming burn

In An Oven

How To Reheat Tri-Tip

Using an oven is the best way to heat tri-tip because this method can preserve its texture and flavor. To add moisture, you can marinate the dish overnight with sauce or pour a little water before grilling.

Before baking, you should preheat the oven to 250oF. This temperature is also the standard for reheating any baked or fried dishes by using an oven. Then, you fill the tray with clean water and place the meat on the broiler. You may add BBQ sauce or beef broth and envelope it with foil. The foil makes sure that the moisture stays in the tri-tip.

The room temperature steak often needs at least 20 – 30 minutes to get warm enough. This time can take a little longer, about 30 – 45 minutes if it’s frozen. The temperature must reach 165oF to be safe for eating. It is best to use a food thermometer for this step for accurate measurement.

On A Grill

For a grill or a microwave grill, you should wrap this steak in aluminum foil so it does not dry out during reheating. This method can be combined with marinating the meat overnight, too. Next, you put it on the griddle and grill with an indirect heat source; then, it may warm up slowly. You can also cut it into small pieces, use skewers to stick them together, and re-grill in the same way.

Because of using indirect heat, your dish may take a long time to warm evenly. However, it reduces the probability of burning and drying the dish before evenly heating it. When this process is done, you can check by slicing a part of the meat or using a cooking thermometer at 165 oF.

In A Saucepan

Heating the tri-tip with a saucepan is probably the simplest and fastest method when you do not want to use any machine. The steps to reheat it by using this method include:

  • Use half a cup of available marinade or gravy and boil in a saucepan at medium heat
  • When the surface of the pan is bubbly, you may put it in the pan (you can also cut it into small pieces)
  • Stir well to cover all sides of the meat with sauce and put the lid on the saucepan for 15-20 minutes
  • Turn the steak over and cook until it ripes evenly, then turn off the heat and enjoy your meal

In An Air Fryer


Preheat air-fryer 370 oF before heating it for the next 3 minutes

Air-fryer is a quick way to reheat tri-tip; however, still keeping it juicy and tender. This simple method is as follows:

  • Preheat fryer to 370 oF
  • Place the steak on the air fryer and grill directly for 3 minutes
  • Check the temperature of it. When it ranges from 110 to 130 oF with a kitchen thermometer, you may take it out and enjoy it.

The Way To Check Tri-Tip Steak Doneness

The most convenient way to check the doneness of meat is to use a food thermometer. Its structure consists of two parts: probe and readout. You should put the probe into the center of the thickest part and wait for the result. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the cooked beef steak should reach at least 145 oF.

In addition, you can slice it and observe the color inside. Another way is to use your hand, thumb, or back of the hand. However, you should not use this method because it is not food hygiene and safety, and you may get burned.


The Way To Check Tri-Tip Steak Doneness

Rare tri-tip is brown outside, bright red inside with a little blood

You need to preheat the pan and pan-fry the fat side for the rare tri-tip. When it turns brown, you fry both sides for 4 minutes before grilling for another 10 minutes in the oven. The characteristics of rare mode are:

  • Color: dark brown outside, bright red with a little blood inside
  • Temperature: 125 oF

Medium Rare

With medium rare, you only need to sauté each side for about 1 minute. During that time, you can drizzle the sauce and spice the dish. The characteristics of the tri-tip at this time are:

  • Color: dark brown outside, slightly red, and no blood inside
  • Temperature: 135 oF


The meat reaches medium doneness, which is sauteed on each side for 1.5 minutes over high heat, is firm on the outside, soft, and juicy on the inside. Besides, its degree also has up to 2 different temperatures:

  • Color: dark brown outside, light pinkish-gray, and no blood inside
  • Temperature: 145 oF (Medium), or 155 oF (Medium Well)

Well Done

At this stage, your meat will be fully cooked but still tender and juicy. You sauté each side for about 5-6 minutes and avoid letting the outside dry out. The characteristics of the meat at this time are:

  • Color: dark brown or slightly scorched outside, light brown and no longer red or pink inside
  • Temperature: 170 oF

Temperature Guide For Cooking Tri-Tip

Temperature Guide For Cooking Tri-Tip

You need to stew the tri-tip in 350 oF for 1 – 4 hours for the meat to be tender and evenly cooked

Although the tri-tip is perfect for a barbecue party, many still use other preparation methods, such as stew. Its alternating lean and fat structure often leads to the large fluctuation of cooking temperature and enriches its flavor. Here is a guide to the temperature and time to cook this steak with different methods:

Method Temperature (oF) Time Set
Slow cook 250 – 325 3 – 4 hours
Stewing 325 – 350 1 – 4 hours
Roast 450 oF 40 – 45 mins
Broil 400 – 500 degree F 10 – 15 mins/pound


When you reheat tri-tip, you need to pay attention to three things: storage, temperature, and humidity. While storage is the same for all recook methods, the temperature and humidity vary.

Some notable methods, such as using a microwave, oven, griller, saucepan, and air-fryer, are all easy to implement and leave the meat as fresh as when you just cooked it.

Besides, the tri-tip has different colors and internal temperatures at ripening levels like rare, medium-rare, medium, and well done. 

A small note is that you should equip a kitchen thermometer to ensure food hygiene and safety for your dishes.

See more tips about microwave here