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Air Fryer Beef Tenderloin

Air fryer beef tenderloin is delicious, melt-in-your-mouth tender, and so quick and easy! Perfect for a special occasion, or any time you want a meal to impress in a hurry!

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Sliced air fryer beef tenderloin on a wooden board.
Air fryer beef tenderloin.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • It is easy to prepare, with simple seasoning
  • It is very quick to cook, and clean up is a breeze (no mess roasting pans to deal with)
  • This recipe is perfect for when you feel like something a bit fancy for dinner but without all the fuss of cooking a fancy dinner!

This is one of my favorite recipes for cooking beef in an air fryer. I have been using my air fryer to roast beef for years now, and have always adapted my original recipe for a tenderloin.

However, since the cooking time is quite different, I decided to create a new recipe for roasting a beef tenderloin in an air fryer.

Some other recipes you might like to try are: air fryer steak, air fryer duck breast, air fryer salmon, or air fryer steak bites.

Scroll down for the printable card for this air fryer beef tenderloin recipe, or read on for all the details.

What do you need?

Beef tenderloin

If possible, choose a tenderloin that has been dressed for roasting.

Tenderloins are very narrow at one end. This is often removed from small tenderloin roasts, or the roast may be tied or dressed with it folded in already.

But if your tenderloin still has the narrow part, you can fold it over and secure it to the thicker part of the tenderloin using butchers twine.

Oil

The recipe below uses light olive oil, which is my preferred oil for air frying, however, you can use any other cooking oil with a high smoke point. Vegetable oil or avocado oil are good choices.

Tip

When air frying, choose a cooking oil with a high smoke point to reduce the chance of your air fryer smoking.

Seasoning

The recipe below uses classic beef roast seasoning of rosemary, thyme, and a little salt. However, you can use your favorite beef seasoning. Here are some others that I like to use:

  • Salt and pepper – keep it simple, and let the flavor of the beef shine
  • Onion powder, garlic powder, salt and ground black pepper
  • Crushed garlic, salt, and pepper
  • Montreal steak seasoning

How to cook beef tenderloin in the air fryer

This recipe is very simple to prepare, there are just a few simple steps to get it just right:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 390°F / 190°C. Preheating is important when the cooking time is short.
  2. Oil and season the beef. The easiest way I have found to do this is to mix the oil and seasoning on a plate, and then roll the beef tenderloin in it to coat it evenly on all sides.
  3. Place the tenderloin in the air fryer basket. You may need to curve it back on itself to fit if it is too long for your air fryer basket.
  4. Air fry beef tenderloin. Air fry the tenderloin at 380°F / 190°C until it is done to your liking.
  5. Check the temperature. Check the temperature in the center of the tenderloin during cooking to confirm it is done to your liking and does not become over cooked.
  6. Rest the tenderloin. Once the tenderloin has finished cooking, remove it from the air fryer to a plate or board, cover with kitchen foil and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes., This allows the juices to reabsorb into the meat, keeping it juicy.
Uncooked beef tenderloin in air fryer basket.
Place beef tenderloin in the air fryer basket.
Air fried beef tenderloin in air fryer basket.
Air fry beef tenderloin at 380°F / 190°C until done to your liking.

Tip

Remember that the temperature of the meat will continue to rise a few degrees while it rests.

How long to air fry beef tenderloin

The exact cook times depend on a few factors, including the exact size and shape of the tenderloin you are cooking, and how powerful your air fryer is.

To estimate the cooking time, you can follow the general rule of 6-10 minutes per lb of beef for rare, then add five minutes for each degree of doneness that you like.

Use the table below for examples.

How well done?RuleTime for a 2lb tenderloinInternal Temp.
Rare6-8 min per lb/ 450g12-16 mins125°F/ 52°C
Medium rare6-8 min per lb/ 450g + 5 min17-21 mins135°F/ 57°C
Medium6-8 min per lb/ 450g + 10 min22-26 minutes145°F/ 63°C
Medium well-done6-8 min per lb/ 450g + 15 min27-31 minutes150°F/ 66°C
Well done6-8 min per lb/ 450g + 20 min32-36 minutes160°F/ 71°C
Estimated air fryer beef tenderloin cooking time

To get the cooking time right, check the internal temperature of the meat early and often to avoid overcooking it.

Tip

Use an instant read thermometer to measure the temperature in the center of the thickest part of the meat for an accurate temperature reading.

Serving ideas

Beef tenderloin makes a tasty dinner served with a side salad or fresh vegetables and potatoes.

Fresh steamed vegetables are a great match for beef tenderloin. You can prepare them while the tenderloin is air frying, then start them steaming while it is resting.

One of the great things about air frying beef tenderloin is that there is lots of room, and so you can cook your whole meal in the air fryer.

You can easily toss in some vegetables to roast up once there is around ten minutes of cooking time remaining. You can remove the tenderloin to rest when it has finished cooking, and pop the veg back in to the air fryer to crisp up for ten minutes or so.

Sliced air fryer beef tenderloin on a wooden board.
Yield: 2 Servings

Air Fryer Beef Tenderloin

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

How to cook beef tenderloin in an air fryer. 

Ingredients

  • 1lb/ 450g beef tenderloin
  • ½ tablespoon light olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary and thyme (fresh or dried)

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer to 380°F / 190°C.
  2. Mix oil, salt, rosemary, and thyme on a plate.
  3. Pat the beef tenderloin dry with paper towels, then roll in the oil-seasoning mix until well coated.  
  4. Place beef tenderloin in the air fryer basket. 
  5. Air fry tenderloin for 15-20 minutes (for medium) [Note 1]. Cook for additional 5-minute intervals if you prefer it more well done.
  6. Remove beef tenderloin from air fryer, cover with kitchen foil and leave to rest for at least five minutes before serving.
  7. Carve the beef tenderloin thinly against the grain to serve.

Notes

  1. Monitor the temperature with an instant read meat thermometer towards the end of the cooking time to ensure that it is cooked to your liking:
  2. Rare 125°F/ 52°C
    Medium rare: 135°F/ 57°C
    Medium: 145°F/ 63°C
    Medium-well: 150°F/ 66°C
    Well done: 160°F/ 71°C

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 761Total Fat: 59gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 191mgSodium: 657mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 54g

Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.

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Welcome to Love Food Not Cooking!

I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food. Whether you are short on time, skills, or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes for dinner, lunch, side dishes, and more. Our recipes use everyday ingredients, for quick delicious meals your family will love! Read more…

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