Get ready for the most delicious, melt-in-your-mouth pork you’ve ever tasted with this air fryer pork tenderloin! This recipe is so quick and easy, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t been cooking pork tenderloin this way all along.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- This recipe is quick and easy to prepare and cook, with simple ingredients you probably already have at home
- Air frying is a quick cook method, so it keeps the pork tender, and creates a tasty crust
- This recipe has the option to also cook sides in the air fryer at the same time.
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 oilive 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.
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 in the air fryer so that they don’t create too much moisure during cooking and prevent the pork from browning.
How to cook pork tenderloin in an air fryer
This recipe is very simple to make, there are just a few simple steps to getting it just right:
- Preheat. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F / 200°C.
- Prepare the ingredients. Brush the pork tenderloin with oil and season with salt and pepper. If you want to cook veggies with the pork tenderloin, wash and pat them dry, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with a little salt.
- Air fry pork tenderloin. Place veggies and pork tenderloin in the air fryer then air fry for 10 minutes at 400°F / 200°C.
- Glaze the tenderloin. While the tenderloin is air frying, prepare the glaze by whisking the vinegar, honey, oregano and garlic together in a small bowl. After the 10 minutes cooking time is up, open the air fryer and bruch the glaze over the pork and the vegetables. Then air fry for another 10 minutes, or until the pork tenderloin reaches 145°F / 63°C in the center.
- Rest the pork, finish the veggies. Remove the pork from the air fryer, cover loosely with foil, and wllow 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||13 mins|
|1lb / 450g||18 mins|
|1½lb / 680g||22 mins|
|2lb / 900g||28 mins|
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.
Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin
- 1¼ lb / 500g pork tenderloin trimmed
- 2 teaspoons light olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons liquid honey
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 lb / 450g 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 carrots, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with a little salt.
- Place veggies and pork tenderloin in the air fryer then air fry for 10 minutes at 400°F / 200°C.
- While the tenderloin is air frying, prepare the glaze by whisking the vinegar, honey, thyme and garlic together in a small bowl.
- After the 10 minutes cooking time is up, open the air fryer and bruch the glaze over the pork and the vegetables. Then air fry for another 10 minutes, or until the pork tenderloin reaches 145°F / 63°C in the center. Cook for additional 2-5 minute intervals if required.
- Remove the pork from the air fryer, cover loosely with foil, and wllow to rest for 5 minutes. Air fry the carrots for a few extra minutes while the pork rests if needed.
- Carve the pork tenderloin into thick slices to serve.
- You can use other vegetables like parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, or sweet potato. To prepare, wash and pat them dry, cut into pieces ½-1 inch wide.
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.