Don’t forget about pork tenderloin! A versatile, healthy cut of pork, it’s good enough for company and quick-cooking enough for a weeknight. Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin is an ideal way to make the most of it.
Unlike tough, fatty cuts of meat that need time to break down (like Slow Cooker Pulled Pork) lean cuts like pork tenderloin benefit from either:
- Fast, high cook temperatures, like the ones you’ll see in Baked Pork Tenderloin and Grilled Pork Tenderloin.
- Or, you need a method that adds juiciness to the pork like Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin and Stuffed Pork Tenderloin.
Since the air fryer is essentially a high-powered convection oven, its intense heat makes it perfect for the hot-and-fast method of cooking juicy pork tenderloin.
This lesson applies to pork, and you can see it applies well to other lean cuts of meat, such as Air Fryer Chicken Breast.
How to Cook Juicy Pork Tenderloin
As we’ve discussed, for juicy pork tenderloin, you need to use a high temperature—but that’s not all!
The most important aspects of making juicy, not dry pork are: 1. Avoid overcooking the meat and 2. Let the meat rest.
Pork tenderloin only needs 11 to 14 minutes to cook in an air fryer at 400 degrees F.
- Most pork tenderloin weighs between 1 and 1 ½-pounds. It is often sold in packs of two.
- If you’d like to cook a larger amount of pork, you can use kitchen twine to tie two tenderloins together to make a thicker meat “log.”
- If your pork tenderloin is larger than 1 ½ pounds, you’ll need to add time to the recipe. Estimate between 18 and 22 minutes to air fry a 2-pound pork tenderloin.
Resting is mandatory.
- Resting meat is critical for it to taste moist.
- While the meat rests, the juices reincorporate.
- If you cut meat right after cooking, all of those yummy juices will escape onto the plate and your pork will taste dry.
The best way to know if pork is cooked is to use an instant read digital thermometer.
- Per the FDA, pork is considered cooked at 145 degrees F. HOWEVER, its temperature will rise as it rests.
- I recommend removing pork at 135 degrees F, then letting it rest for 10 minutes. You’ll have perfect, juicy pork every time!
- Pork Tenderloin. Packed with lean protein and iron, pork tenderloin is an excellent choice for a healthy meal. Since this recipe ensures it will be juicy and flavorful, it’s also sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
- Olive Oil + Balsamic Vinegar. These two ingredients add moisture to the pork and help it taste delicious. The vinegar will also help tenderize the pork while it’s marinating.
- Garlic. For scrumptious garlicky flavor.
- Fresh Rosemary. Woodsy, peppery, and delicious with pork.
- Dijon. Dijon tastes fantastic with pork and gives it a little tang.
- Dry and trim the pork. Place it in a baking dish.
- Stir the remaining ingredients together in a bowl.
- Brush the mixture over the pork. Let marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature or up to 1 day in the refrigerator.
- Air fry pork tenderloin at 400 degrees F for 11 to 14 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate to rest for a few minutes. Slice and ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate pork in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Very gently rewarm the pork in a skillet or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze pork in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Up to 1 day in advance, prepare the recipe through Step 2. Let the pork marinate overnight in the refrigerator, then prepare as directed.
How to Serve Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin
- With Potatoes. Air fryer pork tenderloin and potatoes is a pairing that’s certain to please! Serve the pork with Crockpot Mashed Potatoes, Grilled Potatoes, or Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
- With Veggies. Roasted Green Beans, Roasted Carrots, and Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts would all be tasty with this dish.
- As a Sandwich. Take inspiration from my Steak Sandwich and make an air fryer pork tenderloin sandwich with pork tenderloin slices, caramelized onions, and cheese.
- With Applesauce. Pork and applesauce are wonderful together! Try my Crockpot Applesauce.
- With Rice or Pasta. A side of Instant Pot Mac and Cheese or Lemon Rice would be scrumptious with this pork.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Air Fryer. The model I own and love.
- Instant Read Thermometer. The best way to know when your pork is done. (See the blog post above for different options.)
- Baking Dish. A great place for the pork to marinate.
The Best Air Fryer
With an extra-large basket and multiple cooking functions, this air fryer can help you make everything from pork tenderloin to Air Fryer Steak.
Air fryer pork tenderloin: where quick and dirty meets DELICIOUS!
Frequently Asked Questions
While I highly recommend using Dijon mustard, you could try swapping stone ground mustard instead.
I don’t recommend letting your pork marinate for more than a day ahead of time, as the meat can start to break down and become mushy if it’s left too long.
Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin
- With paper towels, pat the pork dry. Cut away the silver skin, the shiny tough membrane you'll see on the side. To cut it away: slip a thin, sharp knife underneath it to cut away one end of it from the meat. Hold this loose end and gently pull it up and off of the meat with one hand while cutting it away with the other. Discard. Transfer the pork to a baking dish.
- In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar, garlic, rosemary, Dijon, oil, salt, and pepper.
- Brush it all over the sides of the pork. Let marinate at room temperature for at least 15 minutes (or up to 30 minutes), or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. When ready to cook, let the pork come to room temperature first.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F. Add the pork (cut it into half crosswise if it is too large and add it in two pieces; check the cook time 2 minutes early). Air fry for 11 to 14 minutes, until the pork registers 135 degrees F on an instant read thermometer (pork is considered cooked by the FDA at 145 degrees F, but its temperature will continue to rise as it rests; I find if I leave pork in all the way until it hits 145, it tastes dry).
- Remove the pork to a plate. Cover and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. Cut into slices and enjoy!
- TO STORE: Refrigerate pork in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Very gently rewarm the pork in a skillet or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze pork in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- TO MAKE AHEAD: Up to 1 day in advance, prepare the recipe through Step 2. Let the pork marinate overnight in the refrigerator, then prepare as directed.
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