Forget oven roasting, this air fryer pork tenderloin is about to become your new dinner staple. With just a few easy steps, you can cook the most insanely juicy, unbelievably flavorful pork tenderloin in the air fryer. You’ll never want to cook a tenderloin any other way again.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- It’s quick and easy! This recipe is quick and easy to prepare and cook, with simple ingredients you probably already have at home.
- The pork stays tender. Air frying is a quick cook method, so it perfectly cooks smaller portions of pork (like tenderloin) without drying it out.
- It’s versatile. Use a rub, or glaze, or both to flavor the pork. Plus this recipe has the option to cook veggies in the air fryer at the same time so you can make a whole meal in one step.
Scroll down for the printable card for this air fryer pork tenderloin recipe, or read on for all the details.
What do you need?
Pork tenderloin/ pork filet
Pork tenderloin, also known as pork filet, pork eye, or sometimes pork fillet, is a lean and tender cut of pork perfect for air frying.
Before cooking the tenderloin needs to be trimmed. This means removing any excess fat and the silverskin which is underneath the fat. You can also purchase pork tenderloin pre-trimmed to make things easier.
What is the difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin?
Pork loin and pork tenderloin are two different cuts of meat from the pig that are often confused. Pork loin is a large cut of meat that comes from the back of the pig, it is a bit wider and thicker than pork tenderloin. This cut is often sold as a roast and can be cut into chops.
Pork tenderloin, on the other hand, is a smaller, more tender cut of meat that comes from the muscle that runs along the pig’s backbone. It is leaner than pork loin and is often sold as a smaller roast or cut into medallions.
Both pork loin and tenderloin are well suited to air frying.
The recipe below specifies light olive oil, which is my preferred cooking oil for air frying. However, you can use another cooking oil with a high smoke point like vegetable oil, corn oil, or avocado oil.
When it comes to seasoning, a simple combo of salt and pepper is all you need, however you can add extra seasonings to really make this pork sing.
Use your favorite pork seasoning or dry rub, or make a simple homemade blend of:
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
The recipe below uses a simple glaze made from balsamic vinegar, honey, thyme and garlic. However, you can substitute another pork glaze if you have a favorite recipe or a pre-made glaze.
Because pork tenderloin is a relatively small cut of meat you can cook vegetables in the air fryer at the same time.
The recipe below uses carrots, which I love to serve with pork. However, there are lots of options that will work. Try sweet potatoes, parsnips, potato wedges or cubes, pumpkin, green beans or broccoli.
The trick is not to overload the air fryer, and make sure you pat the vegetables dry before placing them in the air fryer so that they don’t create too much moisture during cooking and prevent the pork from browning.
How to cook pork tenderloin in the air fryer
This recipe is very simple to make, there are just a few simple steps to getting it just right:
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F / 200°C.
- Prepare the ingredients. Brush the pork tenderloin with oil and season with salt, pepper and any other seasonings you wish to use. If you want to cook veggies with the pork tenderloin, wash and pat them dry, and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with a little salt.
- Air fry pork tenderloin. Place veggies and pork tenderloin in the air fryer, and cook for 20 minutes at 400°F / 200°C.
- Optional: glaze the tenderloin. Prepare the glaze by whisking the ingredients together in a small bowl. Brush the glaze over the pork and the vegetables half-way through the cooking time.
- Check the temperature. Then air fry the pork tenderloin until it reaches 145°F / 63°C in the center of the thickest part. Air fry for additional 2-3 minute intervals if required until this temperature is reached.
- Rest the pork, and finish the veggies. Remove the pork from the air fryer, cover loosely with foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Air fry the veggies for a few extra minutes while the pork rests if needed.
How long to air fry pork tenderloin?
The exact cooking times will depend on a few factors including the exact size and shape of your pork tenderloin, and how powerful your air fryer is. The USDA recommends that pork tenderloin be cooked to 145°F/ 63°C.
You can estimate the air frying time for pork tenderloin, by using the general rule of around 8 minutes + 10 minutes per pound of pork:
|½lb / 450g
|1lb / 450g
|1½lb / 680g
|2lb / 900g
These times should be used as a guide only. Check the internal temperature frequently towards the end of the cooking time to ensure you get it just right.
Use an instant read thermometer to measure the temperature in the center of the thickest part of the meat for an accurate temperature reading.
>>Related post: How to Use a Meat Thermometer
Roasted pork tenderloin is a versatile and delicious dish that can be served with a variety of side dishes and sauces.
For a classic pairing, serve the pork tenderloin with roasted or mashed potatoes, a side of sautéed or steamed vegetables, and a rich savory gravy. It is also great served with a fruit-based sauce, like applesauce or cranberry sauce.
Storing and reheating
Place any leftover pork tenderloin in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to three days.
You can reheat the pork tenderloin in the air fryer. Simply place it in the air fryer basket and reheat at 400°F/ 200°C for 4-5 minutes, flipping halfway through. Be sure to reheat fully until the internal temperature reaches 165°F/ 74°C.
Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin
- 1¼ lb / 566.99 g pork tenderloin/ pork filet trimmed
- 2 teaspoons / 2 teaspoons light olive oil
- ½ teaspoon / 0.5 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon / 0.5 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 teaspoons seasoning [Note 1]
- 2 tablespoons / 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons / 2 tablespoons liquid honey
- 1 / 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1 teaspoon / 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 lb / 453.59 g carrots trimmed, halved or quartered [Note 1]
- Drizzle of light olive oil
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F / 200°C.
- Pat the pork tenderloin dry, then brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Optional: If using vegetables, cut into 1-inch chunks, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with a little salt.
- Place pork tenderloin in the air fryer, and arrange the vegetables around it.
- Air fry pork tenderloin for 20 minutes at 400°F / 200°C. Optional: If using a glaze, whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Brush the glaze over the pork tenderloin halfway through cooking time.
- When the cooking time is up, check the internal temperature to ensure it has reached the safe temperature for pork of 145°F / 63°C or higher in the center. Cook for additional 2-3 minute intervals if required.
- Remove the pork from the air fryer, cover loosely with foil, and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Air fry the vegetables for a few extra minutes while the pork rests if needed.
- Carve the pork tenderloin into thick slices to serve.
- Use your favorite pork seasoning or make a simple homemade mix from: 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon onion powder.
- You can use other vegetables like parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, or sweet potato. To prepare, wash and pat them dry, cut into pieces 1 inch wide.
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.