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Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin

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Air fryer pork tenderloin is delicious, melt-in-your-mouth tender, and so quick and easy! This recipe is perfect for a special occasion or anytime you want a quick meal to impress!

Sliced pork tenderloin on a wooden board.
Air fryer pork tenderloin.

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How to Roast Pork Tenderloin in an Air Fryer

This is one of my favorite recipes for cooking pork in an air fryer. I have been using my air fryer to roast pork for years now. Some of my favorites are air fryer pork loin roast, and air fried pork belly (check it out if you love really crispy crackling!).

This recipe is very similar to my recipe for air fryer pork roast, however, since the cooking time is quite different (due to the shape of the cut) I decided to create a new recipe specifically for cooking pork tenderloin in an air fryer.

What is the difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin?

Pork tenderloin (also called pork filet) is thin and small, and is one of the most tender cut of pork. Pork loin is a much larger, wider cut. You can cut it into steaks, cook in a single piece, or turn it into a rolled roast. Pork loin is less tender than tenderloin, but is still a relatively tender cut compared to something like pork shoulder.

Both pork loin and tenderloin are well suited to air frying, though pork shoulder is better suited to slow cooking, or making something like this tender slow cooker pulled pork.

How to Prepare pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin is easy to prepare for air frying, it just needs some oil and some seasoning. Use your favorite pork seasoning, here are some that we like:

  • Garlic and thyme for a classic roast pork tenderloin (this is what I use in the recipe below)
  • Salt and pepper – keep it simple, and let the flavor of the pork shine
  • Ground black pepper, nutmeg and cloves – for a spiced Christmas pork tenderloin
  • Onion powder, garlic powder and Dijon mustard

The easiest way I have found to season the pork tenderloin is to add olive oil and the seasoning on a plate, and then roll the tenderloin in it to coat it evenly on all sides.

Lazy cooks tip:
If I am really short on time I have been known to add the tenderloin to the air fryer basket, then spray with oil and sprinkle seasoning over it. You don’t get quite as good coverage (and will need to flip the pork and do the same on the other side), but its really quick!

You can also use marinated pork tenderloin, but be sure to pat it quite dry to remove the excess marinade before air frying.

How long to air fry pork tenderloin?

When air frying a pork tenderloin, I follow the general rule of 10 minutes + 10 minutes per lb of pork. Use the table below to estimate the cook times for your pork tenderloin:

SizeEstimated timeInternal temp.
½lb15 mins145°F / 63°C
1lb20 mins145°F / 63°C
1½lb25 mins145°F / 63°C
2lb30 mins145°F / 63°C
2½lb35 mins145°F / 63°C
3lb40 mins145°F / 63°C
Estimated cooking times for air fryer pork tenderloin by size

The best way to tell whether your pork tenderloin is cooked correctly is to use a meat thermometer.

You can either use a leave-in type (I would recommend this wireless one by Meater*), or an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature once the cooking time is up. See this post for more on how to use a meat thermometer.

The USDA recommends that pork tenderloin is cooked to 145°F (63°C).

What to serve with pork tenderloin

A great thing about cooking a pork tenderloin in an air fryer vs a full-sized roast, is that it leaves plenty of space for also cooking the vegetables in there with the meat.

If I’m roasting a full sized cut of pork then my air fryer is close to capacity and I can’t also air fry vegetables at the same time, so I have to cook them in batches.

However, with a pork tenderloin there is lots of room, and it is so great to be able to cook a whole meal in the air fryer.

I usually toss in some vegetables (see this recipe for air fryer vegetables for ideas), or potatoes to roast 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 veges back in to the air fryer to crisp up for ten minutes or so.

Fresh steamed vegetables also go really great with pork tenderloin, I usually prep them while the pork is air frying, then start them steaming while it is resting.

Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Sliced pork tenderloin on a wooden board.
Yield: 2 Servings

Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

How to cook pork tenderloin in an air fryer. 

Ingredients

  • 1lb pork tenderloin
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed or chopped)
  • 1 tsp thyme (fresh or dried)

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer to 360°F (180°C).
  2. Mix olive oil, salt, garlic and thyme on a plate.
  3. Pat the pork tenderloin dry with paper towels. Place on plate and turn so that the oil-herb mix coats the outside of the pork. 
  4. Place pork tenderloin in the air fryer basket. 
  5. Set to cook in air fryer for 20 minutes.
  6. Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer to ensure that it has reached 145°F (63°C) in the center of the thickest part. Cook for additional 2-5 minute intervals if it needs longer.
  7. Remove pork tenderloin from the air fryer, cover with kitchen foil and leave to rest for at least ten minutes before serving. This allows the meat to finish cooking and the juices to reabsorb into the meat.
  8. Carve the pork tenderloin thinly to serve.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 767Total Fat: 59gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 711mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 54g

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About Eliza

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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