This Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin recipe is simple to make and you just can’t go wrong with wrapping it up in bacon and slathering it with a three ingredient bourbon honey mustard glaze. This can all be done on a weeknight in under 30 minutes. Seriously!
You can’t beat Costco pork tenderloin packed in a two-pack. When you Air Fry Pork Tenderloin, it quickly shoots to the top of the family favorites as it’s tender, delicious and is easy to prepare. You can oven roast or grill it using the same technique below and will be the perfect main dish comfort food next to a nice batch of whipped potatoes.
🍽️ Why This Recipe Works
Fast – This is one air fryer recipes that you can get in and out in under 30 minutes for those nights where every minute counts.
Easy – Once you wrap the bacon around the pork, this is a hands off recipe. The Air Fryer does all the magic for you to create a delicious, tender and juicy dinner that goes perfectly with potatoes, roasted veggies and a chickpea salad.
Meal Prep Friendly – Make the sauce ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator. Prep the pork by wrapping it with bacon and covering it in the refrigerator. Simply pull it out when you get home from work and place in the Air Fryer. Like we talk about in Meal Prep 101, look for as many ways to save time as you can to keep feeding your family healthy meals at home.
Pork Tenderloin – You can’t beat Costco pork tenderloin packed in a two-pack. This shouldn’t be confused with pork loin. Let’s not ask how I learned that! 😀 They are two different cuts of meat. Pork tenderloin (what we are preparing) is usually found in vacuum packaging and is long and thin. It comes from the muscles along the spine of the pig and is considered the most tender cut of pork.
Bacon – You will use about ¾ of a package of bacon. Use thinly sliced versions, as they are much easier to weave around the pork and you will make sure they are fully cooked and crispy.
Bourbon, Honey and Mustard Glaze – These are the only three ingredients in the glaze which makes this one super simple. The stone ground mustard has the big mustard seeds which works perfectly with the honey and bourbon, which both add the sweetness. This is one of my favorite glazes (whether you choose to use the bourbon or not). It adds a burst of flavor for this bacon wrapped tenderloin.
What’s the Difference Between Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin (what we are making here) is the long thin cut of meat that is along the spine. It is often called pork filet or pork tender and considered the best cuts of pork.
Pork loin (either bone-in or boneless) is often called pork loin roast, pork loin half, pork loin rib roast, center cut loin roast. This large cut of pork with a big ol’ fat cap at the top comes from the same area of the backbone and is best cooked low and slow.
Given the differences between the two, don’t try to substitute or swap out the two for recipes.
Air Fryer | For this pork roast, I used my Instant Vortex Plus as the tray capacity was large enough to hold the roast. If you plan to use the air fryer basket versions of Ninja, Cosori, Phillips, you may need to cut the roast in half as the baskets aren’t as large to hold the long piece of meat.
Parchment Paper | This makes it a piece of cake to wrap the bacon weave. If you don’t plan to use the bacon, you do not need the parchment paper.
Trim the Tenderloin
Take a few minutes, pat dry the exterior with paper towels and remove any excess fat and silver skin (the little bit of thin membrane connective tissue that is affixed to the meat) with a sharp knife. The fat comes off pretty easy using your fingers and the silver skin may just need a little help from the kitchen shears. This whole process takes 1-2 minutes. If you don’t remove the silver skin, it can be hard to cut through once the meat is cooked.
Weave the Bacon
Step One: Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan and lay several pieces of bacon side by side. We used seven, as it looked like it would be wide enough to cover the tenderloin.
Step Two: Start weaving bacon from the side to create a crosshatch, basket-weave pattern.
Note: It is much easier to do this with thinly sliced bacon. Also, the thin bacon will crisp up much better than the thick cut variety.
Wrapping the Tenderloin
Step One: Lay the tenderloin in the center of the woven bacon and sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper on both sides.
Step Two: Lift the parchment paper (with the bacon) and wrap it over the top of the pork. The parchment paper holds the bacon weave together for you while you wrap this around.
Step Three: Peel back the parchment paper making sure the bacon adheres to the pork. Press down on the bacon to make sure it sticks.
Step Four: Repeat the process for the other side of the tenderloin.
Make the Glaze
This three ingredient glaze is perfect not only for this meal, but you will find that you will want to make it for other dishes as well. Why not when it’s only three ingredients and has a sweet and tangy flavor that everyone loves.
Step One: Pour the ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat to medium-high and stir while bringing it to a boil.
Step Two: Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step Three: Turn off the stovetop and allow it to cool. As it cools, it will thicken a little. This is going to make it perfect to brush on the outside of the pork and it is going to adhere to the bacon beautifully.
♨️ Air Frying
Step One: Set the Air Fryer to 400°F degrees and allow it to preheat. Add the wrapped tenderloin to the Air Fryer once it is preheated. Cook for 20 minutes. Turn it over half way through.
Step Two: With about 5 minutes left, pull the tenderloin out and brush on the glaze one or two times. Put it back in the Air Fryer for the remaining 5 minutes.
Step Three: Insert a wireless meat thermometer inside the meat to monitor the temperature of the pork. When it reaches 145 degrees, it is fully cooked.
Step our: Apply the glaze again when you remove it from the Air Fryer and allow it to rest for ten minutes under a tent of foil.
💡 Expert Tips
The parchment paper wrapping trick is the easiest way I found to wrap the pork in bacon. If you don’t have any, use Wax Paper or even foil. Use anything that will help you hold the weave together and allow you to wrap the pork.
Make sure to allow the pork to rest after you take it out. We are so busy that we want to take it out and cut the meat and get it on the table. The rest period allows the juices to stay in the meat rather than puddle out on the cutting board which may leave the meat too dry.
Meal Prep this one by pre weaving the bacon wrapping it on the pork.
The bacon is fatty and it will drip in the air fryer. The best way I have found to address that is to lay pieces of bread in the drip pan. The bread catches the drippings and it stops it from splattering and smoking. Check out the photo below to see it in action.
No need for cooking spray for this one as the fat content from the bacon will make it all crispy and juicy.
Use air fryer liners or the parchment paper in the basket or on the trays to help with easy clean up and is hands down my favorite air fryer accessory. If you haven’t used them before, I got you covered with a whole post dedicated to how and why to use them.
Leftover pork tenderloin can be kept in an air tight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Freeze leftovers in a vacuum sealed back, freezer zipper bag or air tight container for up to 3 months, as long as it is air tight to prevent freezer burn.
Reheating takes 3-4 minutes in the fryer set to a temperature of 400°F degrees.
Although we could be 100% carnivores and eat just the meat here, pairing this with some of your favorite side dishes balances out the nutritional values you need. What to serve with pork tenderloin: Tomato Cucumber Salad for an easy 10 minute salad that you can whip up ahead of time. Avocado Tomato Salad melts in your mouth with each bite as the avocado is so creamy. Drizzle with a simple lemon dressing in 10 minutes from start to finish. If you have a little extra time, you can’t beat the Mashed Rutabaga (with or without the cream cheese) for a classic Sunday dinner.
Favorite Air Fryer Main Dishes
Yes, you can. You can even still use the glaze. The glaze will need to be applied at the end, but just know that it will want to run off the meat a little easier as it doesn’t have much to stick it to. Consider using the glaze as a dipping sauce too.
They sound like they are one and the same, but they are not and I don’t want you to be confused. Tenderloin is the long, tubular cut of meat that comes from the muscles next to the spine. The Pork Loin is wider, flatter and comes from the back area.
This is a lean cut of meat, so you have to be delicate with it. Check the internal temperature early. You should only need 20 minutes in the air fryer to reach 145 degrees.
If you are just under 145, remove it from the Air Fryer and tent it with the foil right away. The foil will keep the heat in and will help bump the final number up so you don’t have to put it back in the Air Fryer. The bacon will also provide a shield of protection for you to make sure you are getting a moist cut of meat coming from your Air Fryer.
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Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin
- Parchment Paper
- 1 Pork Tenderloin
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/2 lb bacon
Honey Mustard Bourbon Glaze
- 3/4 cup Honey
- 3/4 cup Mustard stone ground
- 1/4 cup Bourbon
- bread to catch drippings
Trim the Pork
- Remove the tenderloin from the packaging and pinch off the excess fat. You may need kitchen shears to remove the silver skin.
Create the Bacon Weave
- Lay a piece of parchment paper on the counter.
- Lay bacon slices next to each other to form a width of similar size to the length of the tenderloin. In my case, seven slices of bacon worked.
- Weave slices of bacon in the opposite direction to form a basket weave pattern.
- Place the pork in the center of the bacon and lift the parchment paper (and the bacon) and press it firmly over the tenderloin. Repeat the process for the other side. The pork will be completely covered with the bacon.
Make the Glaze
- Add the bourbon, honey and mustard to a pot and bring to a boil on the stove top. Stir frequently.
- Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes. Turn off the burner and let the glaze cool.
- Preheat the air fryer at 400 degrees. When it is done preheating, add the pork and set the timer for 20 minutes. Turn the pork over at the half way point.
- At the 15 minute mark, remove the pork and brush on the glaze generously.
- Put it back in the air fryer. The tenderloin is done when the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
- Remove it, cover with foil and let it rest for at least ten minutes.