How to Cook Pork Tenderloin in the Air Fryer

Learn how to cook pork tenderloin in the air fryer! The quick and high heat cooking of the air fryer make pork tenderloin brown on the outside while still juicy on the inside.

Pork tenderloin is a nice lean cut of pork. Because of that, you don’t want to overcook it. Over the years I’ve found ways to cook pork tenderloin so that it’s brown on the outside while still being juicy on the inside. I have lots of tips for cooking pork tenderloin over here. And, if you want to grill it, here is my go-to method. But, if you want to the best pork tenderloin ever, then you’ve got to try the air fryer. I was so seriously impressed!!!

Pork tenderloin on a wooden cutting board, with several slices cut.

Pork Tenderloin Versus Pork Loin

First, let’s make sure we’re looking at the same cut of pork. We’re talking about the tenderloin here. It should say that whole long word, tenderloin, on the package. If it just says loin, then you’ve got something else. A pork loin. (Air Fryer Pork Loin recipe can be found here.)

If you have a tenderloin, it will be long and thin and weigh about 1 to 1.5 pounds. A loin is thicker and stumpier (in other words, it is more proportional than the long, skinny tenderloin) and weighs between 2-5 pounds usually, although you can get whole loins that weigh 8-10 pounds. Those bad boys definitely don’t fit in the air fryer though!

Preparing Pork Tenderloin

Before you cook pork tenderloin, you need to remove the silver skin. This is a tough bit of thin, silvery skin that runs along one side of the loin. Here are instructions for how to remove it. Note that in those instructions it also shows you to tuck one end of the tenderloin in to make it of an even thickness. I don’t do that for the air fryer because I don’t want to use the metal skewers since my air fryer is non-stick. I suppose you could use wooden ones or string but I don’t and it always turns out really nice.

It’s also a good idea to brine pork tenderloin. It’s such a lean cut of meat that brining it, even for a few hours, really helps. I have skipped this and the recipe has turned out fine, but it’s better when brined. Here are basic brining instructions for pork tenderloin.

Whether you brine it or not, do take your tenderloin out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking. If it’s too cold, it will take too long to cook through and will end up dry inside.

Cooking Pork Tenderloin In The Air Fryer

Once your tenderloin has been out of the fridge for 20 minutes, preheat the air fryer to 400°F.

In a small bowl mix together 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. If you brined your pork, do not add salt here. If you didn’t brine the pork, then add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to this mixture. Rub the mixture all over the pork tenderloin.

Put the pork tenderloin into the basket of the air fryer. If it doesn’t fit while straight, bend it a bit to fit it in.

Cook for 10 minutes. Flip it over. My air fryer is non-stick so I use these silicone coated tongs to flip things in there.

Cook for another 8-15 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached.

I actually take mine out when it’s at 140°F. Cooking it to only 140°F makes it juicier, but be aware that it may not be safe to do so and you should follow the pork board’s guidelines always, thus take it out when it is at 145°F minimum.

Let the pork tenderloin rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. 8-10 minutes is better. Slice into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices and serve immediately.

That’s it! Your pork tenderloin will be the best ever, nice and brown on the outside while still nice and juicy inside. Enjoy!

Christine :)


Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American


Learn how to cook pork tenderloin in the air fryer! The quick and high heat cooking of the air fryer make pork tenderloin brown on the outside while still juicy on the inside.


  • brine ingredients (optional)
  • 1.5 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (if not using a brine)


  1. Brine the tenderloin according to brining instructions, optional.
  2. Take tenderloin out of fridge 20 minutes before cooking. Discard brine and rinse pork, if it was brined.
  3. Remove silver skin according to these instructions.
  4. Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
  5. In a small bowl combine olive oil, black pepper and garlic powder. If you did not brine the pork, then also add the salt. Stir.
  6. Rub olive oil mixture all over tenderloin.
  7. Place tenderloin in air fryer basket, bending it if needed for it to fit.
  8. Cook for 10 minutes. Flip.
  9. Cook until it has reached the desired doneness as indicated on an instant read thermometer, 145-160°F is recommended by the US Pork Board. This will take 8-15 more minutes.
  10. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices. Serve immediately.
This post originally appeared in May 2019 and was revised and republished in November 2020.
How to Cook Pork Tenderloin in the Air Fryer

31 responses to “How to Cook Pork Tenderloin in the Air Fryer”

  1. Dan says:

    I am getting ready to cook a 5.4 pound pork tenderloin in air fryer, I see most recipe cook times are for 1-2 pounders at 400 for 20 minutes, what do you think is a good starting temp and time for that big of a tenderloin? Maybe 400 and for 30 minutes? I know the internal temp needs to be 145 degrees

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Dan, I don’t think pork tenderloins come in the kind of size you’re referring to. They are thin small cuts of meat. You are likely looking at a pork loin. Here are my instructions for cooking a pork loin in the air fryer It’s for a 3 pound one but it gives times per pound of 12-14 minutes. Note that I’m not sure a 4 pound loin would fit in my air fryer so I haven’t tried one that big before. Please come back and let us know how it turns out.

  2. Arlene springstead says:

    I have a ninja smart grill and a ninja xl max. How would I fix this? Roast or grill? Thank u

  3. joni Himes says:

    i have a pro plus air fryer it has the 3 racks and spikes so mi csn cook it hanging up can i do 2 at one time if i use the steaks for making sechcabobs sorry for spelling lol

  4. Teri says:

    My air fryer is made by instant pot and it looks like a toaster oven. It’s that style. It bakes, roasts, rotisserie, and dehydrate and air frys

    • Christine Pittman says:

      I haven’t used that one, but it looks like you would use the roast setting and adjust the temperature if necessary. Good luck, Teri!

  5. Teri says:

    .to cook a pork loin in an air fryer do I push the roast button

    • Christine Pittman says:

      What kind of air fryer do you have, Teri? The one we used for this recipe has temperature controls, not a roast button.

  6. Samantha says:

    Hi, I would love to know how your air fryer went to 450 degrees when the one you linked to having only goes to 400 degrees. I have never seen an air fryer go to 450?

    • Christine Pittman says:

      That was a typo, thanks for bringing it to our attention, Samantha. The post has been corrected to 400°F.

  7. Cheryl says:

    Just what I needed! I’ll be making this soon.

  8. Angelica says:

    Love any kind of roasted pork! I’m going to give this a try in my Breville Smart Oven Air and see if it turns out. It has an air fryer function but it’s a bit hit or miss, haven’t tried it with a lot of meat yet!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Wonderful, Angelica! Please report back with how it turns out and any tips you have for that appliance. :)

  9. Calvin says:

    Interesting recipe, sounds like an air fryer is a neat way to cook pork.

  10. Debbie Yoder says:

    I dont have an air fryer yet,but I want one, then Im trying this recipe, we love pork!

  11. Gillian Brion says:

    I tried this receipe today in my brand new air fryer. 10 out of 10. I used Captains HotPepper and the taste was wonderful and spicy. Went down very well with my friend. Will be a favourite I am sure. Thank you.

  12. Carina says:

    The paragraphs above say 400 but the recipe instructions say 450. Which is the correct temperature?

    • Christine Pittman says:

      450F is the correct temperature, Carina. Sorry about that and thanks for spotting the error! We’ve corrected the post.

  13. Pam Wiseman says:

    I tried this recipe and I have the Ninja Foodi which only goes to 400 degrees so I kept checking after I turned to get to the right temperature. It was OK but way too salty for me. I only left in the brine for about 2 hours and I rinsed for a minute and then let it sit out for the 20 minutes at room temp. I have never brined pork tenderloin before and am probably too salt sensitive for brining this cut of meat.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      I’m sorry you found it salty, Pam. Perhaps double check that you used the correct type and amount of salt since there are different amounts for different types. If you did, I’m not sure what else could help!

  14. Cyndi M says:

    Tried the recipe, but my air fryer only goes to 400° so I cooked an extra 10 minutes to get it to 145°. Let it rest and the family approved. Will do again for sure!!

  15. Jamie L says:

    I marinated my tenderloin all day, but I followed your cooking guidlines. I had no problem whatsoever. It came out perfect. Will be using this recipe again. Thanks!

  16. Linda says:

    I tried this pork tenderloin recipe and my whole house was full of smoke from the olive oil! You cannot use 1 Tbsp of olive oil or any other oil because it starts to drip into the pan and smokes up the entire house. I will use spray oil next time and very little. Also, with air fryer set to 350 and on high fan, the room temperature tenderloin was still raw inside after cooking 20 minutes and turning halfway. I would like to cook this again but perfect the original recipe.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Linda, I’m sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you. I intended that you would rub the olive oil on the tenderloin before placing it into the air fryer, perhaps while the tenderloin is on a plate. That way, any excess oil should drip onto the plate and not into the air fryer basket. You might get the odd excess drip into the fryer but not much. I’m not sure why your tenderloin wasn’t fully cooked except that my recipe called for having the air fryer set for 450F, not 350F, so that could be why yours wasn’t done. You can always leave it in for longer and just check it every 5 minutes with your thermometer to see if it has reached your desired temperature.

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