As a passionate home cook and culinary enthusiast, I have always been on the lookout for new and exciting ways to prepare pork tenderloin. After experimenting with various techniques and ingredients, I have discovered the amazing potential of air frying when it comes to this versatile cut of meat.
In this article, I’m excited to share with you my latest creation: a lip-smacking air fryer pork tenderloin recipe that is sure to impress your taste buds. To take things to the next level, I’ve added a delectable Maple Dijon dressing. I will also share some tips and tricks to ensure your pork turns out perfect on the first try.
Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin With Maple Dijon Sauce Recipe
- Pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Maple Dijon Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Air fryer
- Sharp knife
- Cooking spray
- Paper towels
- Meat thermometer
- Small bowl
Step 1: Prep the Tenderloin
I always start by patting the entire tenderloin dry with a paper towel.
Then remove the silver skin from the tenderloin with a knife. This will help the pork cook evenly and prevent it from curling up.
Step 2: Prepare the Rub
Next, in a small bowl, mix the spices and seasonings – garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, brown sugar, salt, and pepper – to make a dry rub.
Step 3: Rub the Spices on the Meat
Now, rub the dry rub mixture all over the tenderloin, and coat it evenly, including on the sides.
When that’s done, drizzle olive oil over the tenderloin and rub it in. This will act as a binder and also add to the taste.
Step 4: Air-fry the Pork
Start by preheating your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes.
Just like with an oven, preheating your air fryer before cooking is important. This ensures that the tenderloin starts cooking immediately and more evenly.
While the air fryer is heating up, take time to spray the prepped tenderloin with cooking spray. Doing this prevents food from sticking to the air fryer body. Don’t worry, cooking sprays are made with neutral oil. It won’t impact the flavor of your food. Instead, it also gives some crispiness to the outer parts of your food.
After spraying the meat, place it in the air fryer basket. Then cook for 10 minutes.
Flip the pork over and continue cooking for another 10 to 12 minutes or when the internal cooking temperature reaches 145 degrees on a thermometer.
Remove the meat from the air fryer basket. Then, allow it rest for at least five minutes before you slice it.
Step 5: Make the Maple Dijon Sauce
While the meat rests, see it as the opportunity to make the maple dijon sauce.
In a small bowl, start by whisking together the Dijon mustard, maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper. This delicious sauce will add a sweet and tangy flavor to your air fryer pork tenderloin.
Step 6: Serve and Enjoy
Slice the tenderloin into half-inch slices with your knife. Then, drizzle the prepared maple Dijon sauce over the top.
Serve immediately and enjoy your delicious, juicy air fryer pork tenderloin with maple Dijon sauce!
Some Cooking Tips and Tricks
Next, I’d like to share more tips and tricks or emphasize some points explained in the air fryer pork tenderloin recipe. These will help you make the perfect pork tenderloin and make your meal even more delicious.
Use a Sharp Knife to Remove the Silver Skin
The silver skin is a tough, silvery membrane that covers one side of the pork tenderloin. It can be chewy and inedible. So, it’s always best to remove it before cooking.
To do this, use a knife to make a small incision at one end of the tenderloin. Then, slide the knife under the silver skin, using a gentle sawing motion to separate it from the meat. Gently pull it away from the tenderloin.
Experiment With Different Spice Rubs
The air fryer pork recipe I shared includes a simple spice rub of onion powder, chili powder, garlic powder, brown sugar, and paprika. However, there are endless possibilities for spice blends. Your favorite BBQ rub works here too!
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs and spices to find your favorite combination.
Just make sure to balance the flavors and not use too much salt.
Use Cooking Spray or Parchment Paper
To prevent the pork tenderloin from sticking to the air fryer basket, spray the prepared pork with a cooking oil spray or line it with parchment paper.
However, I don’t recommend using a nonstick spray as it can damage the fryer’s nonstick coating. Neither do I recommend spraying the air fryer basket directly. Again, it can damage the nonstick coating of the air fryer’s basket.
If you must use parchment paper, I recommend using one made specifically for air fryers. For instance, this Air Fryer Parchment Paper is perforated to prevent fire outbreaks. This will also allow hot air to get into the food.
Use a Meat Thermometer
Cooking meat to the right temperature is crucial to ensure it’s safe to eat and has the right texture and juiciness.
So, don’t cook meat by intuition. It doesn’t matter how much cooking experience you have. You may end up undercooking the meat and making it unsafe for consumption. There’s also the risk of overcooking it and seeing it dry up.
Always use a thermometer to monitor the internal temperature to know when the pork is cooked perfectly. I recommend the Alpha Grillers Instant Read Meat Thermometer for accurate temperature readings.
The USDA recommends cooking pork to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. To use the thermometer, insert it into a thick part of the meat, and you’ll see the result displayed instantly. Make sure the instant-read thermometer doesn’t touch the bone if it’s a bone-in tenderloin. You may also want to remove the pork from the air fryer a few degrees before 145 F because it will continue cooking while resting.
Let the Pork Rest
One of the most critical steps in cooking meat is allowing it to rest after cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and ensures that the meat is not tough and chewy but tender, juicy, and flavorful.
So, after cooking your air fryer pork tenderloin, remove it from the basket and allow it to rest for five to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Use Leftover Pork in Other Dishes
If you have leftovers of your air-fryer pork tenderloin, don’t let them go to waste!
I like using my leftover pork in sandwiches, salads, quesadillas, or stir-fries.
Just make sure to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator if you’re not using them immediately.
Remember, cooked pork can last up to four days in the refrigerator.
Why Try an Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin Recipe?
When you prepare tenderloin in the air fryer, it gets perfectly cooked with a golden brown exterior. The outside is slightly crispy, while the inside is pale white, juicy, and tender.
As you slice into the tenderloin, you can see it’s cooked all through with no pinkness in the center. The meat always ends up moist with an amazing flavor, thanks to the herbs and spices I season it with before cooking.
One of the things I love about cooking pork tenderloin in the air fryer is that it doesn’t dry out like it sometimes can when you cook it in the oven. Instead, the air fryer locks in the moisture and gives the pork a nice caramelized exterior.
Overall, an air fryer-cooked pork tenderloin looks and tastes fantastic. It’s a delicious and healthy meal option that’s easy to prepare. It’s perfect for busy weeknights or any time you want a flavorful and satisfying dinner.
Nutritional Value of Pork Tenderloin and Maple Dijon Sauce
Air-fryer pork tenderloin served with a drizzle of maple Dijon sauce is a tasty and nutritious meal. It can provide a variety of essential nutrients you can’t find in other pork recipes.
Pork Tenderloin Nutritional Facts
First, I know pork meats aren’t known to be lean, but take my word for it. The pork tenderloin is!
Tenderloin is a lean protein relatively low in fat for anyone watching their weight.
It is also high in essential vitamins and minerals. For instance, according to an analysis by the USDA, a 4-ounce serving of pork tenderloin contains about 136 nutrition calories, 23 grams of protein, 2.45 grams of fat, and 0 grams of carbohydrates.
In addition to the protein and low-fat content, pork tenderloin contains essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12, iron, and zinc.
Below is a chart showing the important nutritional values of a 4 oz pork tenderloin:
Maple Dijon Sauce Nutritional Value
The maple Dijon sauce used in the air fryer pork tenderloin recipe is also a good source of vital nutrients. It provides vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
It is essential to note that the sauce is also high in sugar and sodium, so it should be used in moderation.
However, I don’t think there’s anything to fear. When you check the tenderloin nutritional value chart above, you’ll see it’s naturally low in carbohydrates, sugar, and sodium. So, the higher values of these nutrients in the sauce make up for them.
Overall, the pork tenderloin with maple Dijon sauce is a delicious, healthy, and nutritious meal combo. They provide a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Balancing this meal with other nutrient-rich foods is important to ensure a well-rounded diet.
1. What Temperature Should Pork Be Cooked in an Air Fryer?
The recommended temperature to cook juicy pork tenderloin in an air fryer is 400 degrees, as I’ve emphasized in the recipe. On the other hand, the recommended internal temperature is 145 degrees. This is measurable with a thermometer, which should be inserted into the thickest part of the meat to get an accurate reading.
2. Is It Better to Cook Pork Tenderloin Fast or Slow?
Tenderloin is lean. That means it’s best to cook it fast at high heat of 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Why is this so? Well, lean meats like pork tenderloins don’t have enough fats to moisturize them during long slow cooks. So, when you cook them slowly, the meat may get dry and then get tough and chewy, which is unpleasant.
In addition, fast cooking methods such as grilling or cooking in an air fryer can be more convenient and quicker.
However, this method can still produce a tender and juicy pork tenderloin. This is simply because air fryers cook food by circulating hot air around it. It can help cook the pork evenly and quickly.
3. How Long Do You Cook a Pork Loin in an Air Fryer?
Typically, a pork loin must be cooked for 25 to 30 minutes in an air fryer at 375 degrees. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the loin. However, cooking a pork loin in an air fryer requires a slightly longer cooking time than pork tenderloin.
As you’ve seen, an air fryer pork tenderloin with maple Dijon sauce is a combo. It’s a delicious, crispy, and nutritious recipe. The combination of spices and the sweet and tangy sauce creates a flavor explosion in the mouth. This recipe is perfect for a quick, easy weeknight dinner or special occasion. I hope you give this recipe a try and see it for yourself.