Fast and Easy Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Tenderloin in the Air Fryer

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air fryer pork tenderloin is delicious and juicy

The Easy Way to Make Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin

I love simple and quick dinners. Before learning how to actually cook, I used to think that simple and quick dinners were the premade stuff that I only had to heat up. However, now I know that a quick and easy dinner doesn’t have to just be the premade stuff that you get in the freezer aisle at the store. You can make delicious and totally homemade dinners fast thanks to the air fryer. I am excited to share today’s air fryer pork tenderloin recipe with you because it is packed with fantastic flavors and you can get this filling meal on the dinner in less than thirty minutes!

What is the difference between pork tenderloin and pork loin?

what does pork tenderloin look like?

Have you wondered, like me, what the difference is between pork tenderloin and pork loin? I am here to answer that question!

Pork tenderloin is also known as pork fillet or pork steak. Pork tenderloin is a long, thin cut of meat that comes from the psoas major muscle on a pig. Pork tenderloin is boneless.

Pork loin comes from the generally same back area of the pig. However, pork loin is usually a wider cut of meat. So much so that you can steak size pieces from pork loin. Pork loin can come with bone-in or boneless, it just depends on what you want!

Can I substitute pork tenderloin with pork loin?

air fryer pork tenderloin ingredients

Because pork tenderloin and pork loin are different sizes of meat, the cooking process will be different. I do not recommend using pork loin for this recipe.

If you are looking for a quick and easy pork loin recipe for the air fryer, check out this air fryer pork chops recipe.

How to Prep a Pork Tenderloin

I love keeping recipes simple and tasty. You will be surprised with how easy it is to prepare the pork tenderloin for cooking in the air fryer. The first thing you want to do is to wash and pat the meat dry with a paper towel. You want to make sure that the meat is dry so that the rub sticks and cooks nicely into the meat.

Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Tenderloin Ingredients

brown sugar spice ingredients

Seriously, these ingredients are the best. I love how simple, sweet, and spicy this recipe is. It is everything you need!

  • 2 pork tenderloins
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic cloves
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

To prepare for making pork tenderloin, mix together the rub ingredients. This is the brown sugar, salt, black, pepper, ground cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon together in a small bowl.

How to season pork tenderloin?

how to season pork tenderloin with brown sugar spice rub

Once your seasonings are mixed, spray the pork tenderloin with avocado oil and rub the oil into the meat. Next, generously and liberally rub the spices into both sides of the meat. Then place the minced garlic on top.

Avocado oil substitute

I love to use avocado oil in my Mistifi oil sprayer. However if you don’t have avocado oil on hand, you can use different high smoke point oils like olive oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil.

Do I need to preheat the air fryer?

how to cook juicy pork tenderloin in the air fryer

To preheat or not to preheat? That is one of the questions that I am asked often. I talk more about preheating in this YouTube video. But in short, yes you do need to preheat. Preheating is optional for most foods besides when you are cooking nice cuts of meat. I love to preheat the air fryer for meat because then the outside of the meat can be more seared and sizzled.

What if my air fryer doesn’t have a preheat button?

I love my Cosori air fryer because there is a preheat button that automatically preheats the air fryer. If your air fryer doesn’t have this button, you can preheat the air fryer by setting the temperature to 400°F/204°F (or the highest temperature on your air fryer) and run the air fryer empty for 5 minutes.

How to Cook Juicy Pork Tenderloin in the Air Fryer

pork tenderloin in the air fryer is simple and tender

Once your air fryer is preheated, place the pork tenderloin in the air fryer basket carefully. Fold any smaller ends of the meat back into the meat so that they don’t burn during the cooking process.

How long to cook pork tenderloin in the air fryer?

Because pork tenderloin cooks better at a quick, high temperature, cook the pork in the air fryer at 400˚F/200˚C for 10 minutes. Next, flip the tenderloin and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145˚F/63˚C.

How to cook pork perfectly in the air fryer

juicy and tender pork tenderloin

Although air fryers have similar functions, the make and models are different. This is why it is so important to get an instant read meat thermometer. This air fryer tool will help you know when your food is actually done cooking. It will also help you judge if you need to adjust the temp or cooking time of the air fryer.

To learn more about adapting your recipes for the air fryer, check out this guide on YouTube.

Be sure to also get this free download of the internal temperature of your meats and baked goods so that you know exactly when your food is done!

What to serve with pork tenderloin

what do I eat with pork tenderloin?

I love how simple this recipe is. You will enjoy this spiced, tender, sweet, and juicy pork tenderloin with some side dishes like instant pot mashed potatoes, savory carrots, asparagus, or even a nice cobb salad. Share with us in the comments below what you love to serve pork tenderloin with!

How to Reheat Pork Tenderloin in the Air Fryer

easy air fryer pork tenderloin

Not only is the air fryer great for making quick and easy meals like this pork tenderloin, but the air fryer also does a great job of reviving these nice cuts of meat. Whether you have leftovers from your favorite BBQ restaurant or if you want to reheat this pork tenderloin in the air fryer, here are a couple of things you will want to keep in mind.

  1. Let the meat rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. This will allow the meat to cook more evenly so that it doesn’t dry out.
  2. Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 400°F/204°C.
  3. Place the meat inside the air fryer basket and cook for 3 minutes at 370°F/187°C.
  4. Check the internal temperature of the meat. Flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes if needed.
  5. If you have any sauces or cheese to place on top of the meat, do so during the last minute of cooking.

pork tenderloin in the air fryer

Final Thoughts

Air fryer pork tenderloin is ridiculously easy and so tasty too. You will love whipping up this recipe in less than 30 minutes. This recipe is a great Easter main dish or a dinner party. If you are in a pinch for time, impress your guests with sharing this one with them.

Share with us in the comments below when you will be making this recipe!

air fryer tenderloin

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air fryer pork tenderloin

Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Tenderloin

This simple air fryer pork tenderloin is tender, juicy and sweet with a touch of spice. It’s fast, easy and a healthy recipe that can be on the table in less than 30 minutes.
4.83 / 5 ( 17 Reviews )
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Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Serves: 8
Adjust Servings: 8



  • 2 pork tenderloins
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic cloves

Spice Mix


  • Wash and pat the meat dry.
  • Preheat the air fryer at 400°F/200°C for 5 minutes.
  • Mix together the spices in a small bowl.
  • Spray the pork loin with avocado oil and rub the oil into the meat.
  • Generously rub the spices into the meat. Then place the minced garlic on top.
  • Place the meat in the air fryer basket, folding in any smaller ends into the meat.
  • Cook at 400°F/204°C for 10 minutes. Flip tenderloin, then cook another 5-10 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 145°F/63°C.


Calories: 654kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 94g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 830mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g
Ingredients: Brown Sugar, Chili powder, Cinnamon, Cumin, Pepper, Pork, Salt
Meal Type: Main Dish, Christmas, Easter, Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter, Dairy Free, Egg Free
Categories: BBQ, Meat and Poultry, Air Fryer
4.83 from 17 votes (17 ratings without comment)

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