Tri-tip is a triangular cut of beef from the bottom sirloin that is quite popular, especially in Santa Maria, California. It has become more common across the U.S. in recent years. While delicious when freshly grilled or roasted, leftovers are inevitable. Fortunately, there are several excellent ways to reheat tri-tip and restore it to nearly original texture and flavor.
Reheating tri-tip in the oven is one of the easiest and most effective methods. It allows the meat to heat gradually and evenly throughout.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Place the tri-tip on a baking sheet or oven-safe dish. Make sure the pieces are not overlapping.
- Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. This will trap moisture and heat the meat more gently.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until heated through. Check the thickest part of the meat with a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches 140°F or warmer.
- Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. The temperature will rise slightly as it rests.
The microwave can also be used to quickly reheat tri-tip. Take care not to overcook the meat or dry it out.
- Arrange the tri-tip pieces on a microwave-safe dish in a single layer.
- Cover the dish with a paper towel or cling wrap to prevent splatter.
- Microwave on 50% power for 2-3 minutes. Rearrange the pieces and microwave in 1 minute intervals until heated through.
- Allow to rest 2-3 minutes before serving. Check that the internal temperature reaches 140°F.
Reheating tri-tip on the stovetop utilizies a skillet to add flavor.
- Heat 1 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Add the tri-tip slices and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until heated through. Work in batches if needed to avoid crowding.
- Optionally, add spices, herbs, or sauce to coat the meat while reheating for extra flavor.
- Serve the reheated tri-tip immediately while hot.
An air fryer can replicate the crispy exterior of grilled tri-tip.
- Preheat air fryer to 370°F.
- Place tri-tip pieces in air fryer basket in a single layer, avoiding overlap.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Check internal temperature, cook longer if needed until 140°F.
- Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving for juiciest results.
- Slice the tri-tip against the grain before reheating for most tender results.
- Let the meat rest after cooking before carving to retain juices.
- Add barbecue sauce, chimichurri, or other sauces after reheating to keep the flavors fresh.
- Store leftovers within 2 hours of cooking and reheat within 3-4 days.
- Reheat fully cooked tri-tip to 140°F minimum internal temperature.
- Use a digital meat thermometer to accurately check internal temperature and prevent overcooking. Recommended models: Thermapen Mk4, Habor Instant Read, Cuisinart Instant Read.
- Warm up any sauces or glazes before adding to reheated tri-tip to maximize flavor.
- Preheat ovens, air fryers, and skillets before adding tri-tip to start the reheating process quickly.
- Let thicker pieces of tri-tip come to room temperature for 10-15 minutes before reheating for more even heating.
- For oven reheating, use a meat probe thermometer to monitor internal temp without repeatedly opening the oven. Recommended models: ThermoPro TP20, Inkbird IBT-4XS, CDN ProAccurate.
Q: Can you reheat tri-tip in a slow cooker or Instant Pot?
A: Yes, both methods work well. Add 1/4 cup liquid and use the slow cooker on low or pressure cooker on low pressure for 1-2 hours until heated through.
Q: Is it safe to reheat tri-tip more than once?
A: It’s best to only reheat cooked tri-tip once. Reheating multiple times increases the risk of bacterial growth. Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Q: Does reheating tri-tip make it dry or tough?
A: Proper reheating methods should retain moisture and tenderness. Be careful not to overcook. Quickly microwave on half power or use lower oven temperatures around 300°F.
- Chili Lime Tri-Tip Tacos – Shredded tri-tip, lime juice, cilantro, chili powder.
- Tri-Tip Sandwiches – Sliced reheated tri-tip, mushrooms, onions, peppers, cheese.
- Tri-Tip Salad – Cubed tri-tip, lettuce, tomato, avocado, ranch dressing.
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With the proper technique, tri-tip can be safely and deliciously reheated using the oven, microwave, stovetop, or air fryer. Allow the meat to reheat gently and avoid overcooking. Rest the meat afterwards and add extra sauces or seasonings to enhance the flavor. Enjoy your leftovers!