[GUIDE] How Long To Cook Beef Tenderloin In Air Fryer

Beef tenderloin, a wonderfully tender and flavorful cut of meat, can be cooked to perfection in an air fryer. With the right techniques and cooking times, you can achieve a juicy and delectable beef tenderloin using this convenient kitchen appliance. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the details of cooking beef tenderloin in an air fryer, from selecting the perfect cut to preparing and cooking it to mouthwatering perfection.

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Beef Tenderloin In Air Fryer

The quick answer to how long to cook beef tenderloin in an air fryer is approximately 12-15 minutes at 400°F (200°C) for medium-rare to medium doneness. It’s important to note that the exact cooking time can vary based on the thickness and size of the beef tenderloin, as well as personal preferences for doneness.

Choosing Beef Tenderloin

Selecting the right beef tenderloin is crucial to achieving a delicious result. Look for a well-marbled, bright red piece of beef tenderloin with a fine texture. The fat marbling contributes to the tenderness and flavor of the meat, while the vibrant red color indicates freshness. Additionally, consider the size of the tenderloin based on the number of servings needed.

Preparing Beef Tenderloin

Before cooking the beef tenderloin in the air fryer, it’s essential to properly prepare the meat. Here’s a step-by-step guide for preparing beef tenderloin for air frying:

Step 1: Seasoning

  • Begin by seasoning the beef tenderloin with your choice of seasonings. A simple yet flavorful combination of salt, pepper, and a touch of garlic powder can enhance the natural taste of the beef.

Step 2: Tying The Beef Tenderloin

  • If your beef tenderloin is uneven in thickness, consider tying it with kitchen twine to ensure even cooking. This step helps the tenderloin maintain its shape during cooking.

Step 3: Bringing It To Room Temperature

  • Let the seasoned beef tenderloin sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before placing it in the air fryer. Allowing the meat to come to room temperature promotes more even cooking.

Step 4: Preheating The Air Fryer

  • Preheat the air fryer to the recommended temperature for cooking beef tenderloin. This will ensure that the beef tenderloin starts cooking immediately once it’s placed in the air fryer, leading to a better sear and juicier result.

Air Fryer Temperature For Cooking Beef Tenderloin

Achieving the ideal cooking temperature is vital for perfectly air frying beef tenderloin. The recommended temperature for cooking beef tenderloin in an air fryer is 400°F (200°C). This temperature allows for a quick sear on the outside of the tenderloin while ensuring the interior cooks to the desired level of doneness.

Air Fryer Cooking Time For Cooking Beef Tenderloin

The cooking time for beef tenderloin in an air fryer depends on several factors, including the size and thickness of the tenderloin, as well as the desired level of doneness. Here’s a general guide for air fryer cooking times based on the level of doneness:

Medium-Rare (Internal Temperature: 130-135°F / 54-57°C)

  • For a medium-rare beef tenderloin, cook it in the air fryer for approximately 10-12 minutes. It’s advisable to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature and ensure it reaches the desired level of doneness.

Medium (Internal Temperature: 140-145°F / 60-63°C)

  • If you prefer a medium doneness, the beef tenderloin should be air-fried for approximately 12-15 minutes. Again, using a meat thermometer is the best way to guarantee the perfect level of doneness.

Well-Done (Internal Temperature: 150-155°F / 65-68°C)

  • Cooking a beef tenderloin to well-done in an air fryer usually takes around 15-18 minutes. Keep an eye on the internal temperature to prevent overcooking and maintain the tenderness of the meat.

It’s important to remember that these time ranges are approximate and may vary based on the specific air fryer model and the starting temperature of the beef tenderloin. Always use a meat thermometer to accurately gauge the doneness and ensure the beef tenderloin reaches the desired temperature for safe consumption.

Cooking beef tenderloin in an air fryer can yield succulent and flavorsome results when done correctly. By selecting a quality piece of beef tenderloin, seasoning it appropriately, and paying close attention to the cooking time and temperature, you can enjoy a delectable beef tenderloin that is juicy, tender, and bursting with flavor. With this detailed guide, you now have the knowledge and techniques to confidently air fry beef tenderloin to perfection, impressing friends and family with your culinary skills and the delightful outcome on their plates.

How To Cook Beef Tenderloin In Air Fryer

Beef tenderloin, also known as filet mignon, is a highly prized cut of meat known for its tenderness and rich flavor. It is a favorite choice for special occasions or when you want to enjoy a gourmet meal at home. Traditionally, beef tenderloin is cooked in the oven or on the grill, but did you know that you can also cook it in an air fryer? Using an air fryer for cooking beef tenderloin not only saves time but also ensures a perfect and juicy result every time.

Cooking beef tenderloin in an air fryer is a simple and efficient process. Follow these steps to achieve a perfectly cooked beef tenderloin:

  1. Preheat the air fryer: Start by preheating your air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Preheating the air fryer ensures that your beef tenderloin cooks evenly.

  2. Prepare the tenderloin: Season the beef tenderloin with salt, pepper, and any other desired spices or herbs. Let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

  3. Place the tenderloin in the air fryer: Once the air fryer is preheated, carefully place the seasoned beef tenderloin in the air fryer basket. Make sure it is well-centered and not touching the sides of the basket for optimal air circulation.

  4. Cook the beef tenderloin: Cook the beef tenderloin in the air fryer for approximately 12-15 minutes. This cook time is suitable for medium-rare to medium doneness, depending on the thickness of the meat. You can adjust the cook time based on your personal preference, which we will discuss in more detail later.

  5. Rest and slice: After cooking, remove the beef tenderloin from the air fryer and let it rest for 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. This resting period is crucial for a tender and juicy result. Slice the beef tenderloin into desired portions and serve immediately.

Cooking Time For Frozen Beef Tenderloin

If you have a frozen beef tenderloin and want to cook it in the air fryer, you can easily do so with a slight adjustment in the cooking time. Follow these steps to cook frozen beef tenderloin in an air fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) to ensure even cooking.

  2. Prepare the frozen tenderloin: Remove the frozen beef tenderloin from its packaging and pat it dry with paper towels. Season the tenderloin with salt, pepper, and any desired spices or herbs. The seasoning will enhance the flavor of the meat.

  3. Adjust the cooking time: Since the tenderloin is frozen, it will require a longer cook time. Increase the cooking time to approximately 20-25 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness. Remember to adjust the cook time further for your preferred level of doneness.

  4. Cook and rest: Place the seasoned frozen tenderloin in the preheated air fryer. Cook it for the adjusted time and then remove it from the air fryer. Allow the beef tenderloin to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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Cooking frozen beef tenderloin in an air fryer allows you to have a delicious and tender steak without the hassle of thawing it beforehand. However, it is important to note that the quality of the beef tenderloin may not be as optimal compared to using fresh or thawed meat. Therefore, it is recommended to use fresh or thawed beef tenderloin whenever possible for the best results.

Adjusting Air Fryer Temperature For Cooking Beef Tenderloin

Air fryers typically have a temperature range of 200°F to 400°F (90°C to 200°C). When cooking beef tenderloin in an air fryer, it is important to adjust the temperature for optimal results. Here are some temperature guidelines to consider:

  1. Medium-Rare: For a medium-rare beef tenderloin, set your air fryer temperature to 400°F (200°C). This temperature allows for a crispy sear on the outside while keeping the center tender and juicy.

  2. Medium: If you prefer a medium doneness level, set the air fryer temperature to 375°F (190°C). This slightly lower temperature will produce a less pink center but still retain the tenderness of the beef tenderloin.

  3. Well-Done: For a well-done beef tenderloin, set the air fryer temperature to 350°F (175°C). Cooking at a lower temperature for a longer time will ensure that the steak is fully cooked through without sacrificing tenderness.

It is important to remember that the cooking temperature may vary depending on the size and thickness of your beef tenderloin. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature and make sure it reaches your desired level of doneness.

Adjusting Air Fryer Cook Time For Cooking Beef Tenderloin

The cooking time for beef tenderloin in an air fryer largely depends on your preferred level of doneness and the thickness of the meat. Here is a general guideline for adjusting the cook time based on your desired doneness:

  1. Medium-Rare: For a medium-rare beef tenderloin, cook it in the air fryer for approximately 12-15 minutes. This cook time is suitable for a 1-inch thick piece of tenderloin. Increase the cook time by a few minutes for a thicker piece of meat.

  2. Medium: If you prefer a medium level of doneness, increase the cook time to around 15-18 minutes. Again, adjust the cook time based on the thickness of the meat. Thicker cuts may require additional minutes.

  3. Well-Done: For a well-done beef tenderloin, cook it in the air fryer for 18-20 minutes or longer, depending on the thickness. Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature reaches around 160°F (71°C) for well-done.

To ensure accurate cooking time, it is recommended to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the beef tenderloin. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak without touching the bone if any. This will give you a precise reading of the meat’s temperature and help you achieve your desired level of doneness.

Cooking Techniques

While cooking beef tenderloin in an air fryer is a quick and convenient method, there are several cooking techniques you can employ to further enhance the flavor and texture of your steak:

  1. Searing: Before cooking the beef tenderloin in the air fryer, you can sear it in a hot skillet for a couple of minutes on each side. Searing creates a flavorful crust and enhances the overall taste of the steak. Once seared, transfer the tenderloin to the air fryer to complete the cooking process.

  2. Marinating: Marinating the beef tenderloin before cooking can infuse it with additional flavors and make it more tender. You can use a simple marinade with ingredients like garlic, soy sauce, olive oil, and herbs. Allow the tenderloin to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours for maximum flavor.

  3. Basting: Basting the beef tenderloin with melted butter or a marinade during the cooking process adds moisture and additional flavors. Open the air fryer basket, carefully brush the tenderloin with the basting liquid, and then continue cooking until it reaches the desired level of doneness.

  4. Herb and Garlic Butter: Create a delicious herb and garlic butter to serve with your cooked beef tenderloin. Mix softened butter with minced garlic, chopped fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary, salt, and pepper. Spread a dollop of the butter on each slice of steak for an extra burst of flavor.

By incorporating these cooking techniques, you can take your air-fried beef tenderloin to the next level and impress your guests with a gourmet dining experience.

Cooking beef tenderloin in an air fryer is a convenient and efficient way to prepare this premium cut of meat. By following the recommended cooking temperatures and adjusting the cook time based on your desired level of doneness, you can achieve a perfect juicy steak every time. Additionally, incorporating different cooking techniques such as searing, marinating, basting, and serving with herb and garlic butter can elevate the flavor and texture of your beef tenderloin.

Experiment with seasonings, herbs, and spices to customize your beef tenderloin to your personal taste. With the air fryer's ability to cook quickly and evenly, you can enjoy a gourmet restaurant-quality steak from the comfort of your own home. So, don't hesitate to try cooking beef tenderloin in an air fryer and impress your family and friends with a delicious and tender meal.

Undercooking

Cooking beef tenderloin in an air fryer may sound unusual, as this kitchen appliance is commonly used for frying and baking. However, an air fryer can also be a convenient and efficient way to cook beef tenderloin, offering a quick and easy alternative to traditional cooking methods.

Undercooking beef tenderloin can result in a raw or undercooked center, which may not be enjoyable or safe to consume. To avoid undercooking, it is essential to use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches the desired level.

When cooking beef tenderloin in an air fryer, preheat the appliance to the recommended temperature for cooking beef. Place the seasoned beef tenderloin in the air fryer basket or tray, making sure there is enough space for air circulation. Depending on the size and thickness of the tenderloin, cooking times may vary. It is generally recommended to cook beef tenderloin for about 15-20 minutes in an air fryer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). However, always refer to the recipe or cooking instructions for more accurate timings.

To check for doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the tenderloin. For medium-rare, the internal temperature should reach around 135-140 degrees Fahrenheit (57-60 degrees Celsius). For medium, aim for 145-150 degrees Fahrenheit (63-66 degrees Celsius). Remember that the temperature will rise slightly during resting, so adjust accordingly.

Overcooking

Overcooking beef tenderloin can lead to a dry and tough texture, which can be disappointing. To avoid this, it is crucial to keep a close eye on the cooking time and temperature.

To cook beef tenderloin in an air fryer without overcooking, follow the recommended cooking times and temperatures mentioned earlier. However, if you prefer your beef more well-done, you can increase the cooking time slightly. It’s important to note that beef tenderloin is a lean cut, and overcooking it can result in a loss of tenderness and juiciness.

Another technique to prevent overcooking is called "reverse searing." This method involves cooking the beef tenderloin at a lower temperature first and then searing it at a higher temperature. This helps cook the tenderloin evenly and ensures a delicious crust while preserving the juiciness. To reverse sear in the air fryer, cook the beef tenderloin at a lower temperature (around 250 degrees Fahrenheit or 120 degrees Celsius) for 10-15 minutes, and then increase the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) for a final sear for 2-3 minutes on each side. This method may lead to a longer cooking time but can result in a more even and controlled cook.

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Checking For Doneness Of Beef Tenderloin

Checking for the doneness of beef tenderloin is crucial to achieve the desired level of cooked meat. The most accurate way to do this is by using a meat thermometer. By measuring the internal temperature, you can ensure that the beef is cooked to perfection.

Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the beef tenderloin without touching the bone or fat. Make sure to take the temperature reading towards the end of the cooking time, as the internal temperature will continue to rise slightly during resting. The following are the recommended internal temperature ranges for different levels of doneness:

  • Rare: 125-130 degrees Fahrenheit (52-54 degrees Celsius)
  • Medium-rare: 135-140 degrees Fahrenheit (57-60 degrees Celsius)
  • Medium: 145-150 degrees Fahrenheit (63-66 degrees Celsius)
  • Medium-well: 150-155 degrees Fahrenheit (66-68 degrees Celsius)
  • Well-done: 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius) and above

Everyone’s preference for beef doneness may vary, so adjust the temperature according to your personal taste. It’s always better to slightly undercook the beef as you can put it back in the air fryer if needed, but it is hard to reverse overcooking.

When Things Go Wrong

Even with careful attention, things can sometimes go wrong while cooking beef tenderloin in an air fryer. Here are some troubleshooting tips for common issues:

1. Overcooked Beef Tenderloin

If the beef tenderloin turns out dry or overcooked, there are a few ways to salvage it. One method is to slice the beef very thinly against the grain and soak it in a warm beef broth for a short period. This can help rehydrate the meat and restore some tenderness. Another option is to use the overcooked beef tenderloin for sandwiches or wraps, where additional moisture can be added through sauces or dressings.

2. Undercooked Beef Tenderloin

If the meat is undercooked, it is essential to avoid serving it rare or raw, as this may pose health risks. To rectify this, place the undercooked beef tenderloin back in the air fryer and cook it for an additional few minutes until the desired internal temperature is reached. Remember to use a meat thermometer to ensure accuracy.

3. Uneven Cooking

Sometimes, the beef tenderloin may cook unevenly, with certain parts being more cooked than others. This can happen due to variations in the thickness of the meat or overcrowding in the air fryer basket. To avoid this issue, ensure that the meat is of uniform thickness by trimming or folding thinner parts to match the rest of the tenderloin. Additionally, avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket, as proper air circulation is essential for even cooking. If needed, cook the beef tenderloin in batches to ensure each piece receives adequate heat.

4. Insufficient Browning

If the beef tenderloin lacks the desired browning or crust, it may be due to the air fryer’s limitations or lack of oil. To enhance browning, brush the tenderloin with a thin layer of oil before placing it in the air fryer. Additionally, you can preheat the air fryer for a few minutes at a higher temperature and then cook the tenderloin. This can help promote better browning and caramelization on the outside while ensuring the meat cooks evenly on the inside.

Tips For Cooking Beef Tenderloin In Air Fryer

Here are some helpful tips to ensure the best results when cooking beef tenderloin in an air fryer:

  1. Choose the right cut: Select a high-quality beef tenderloin for the best outcome. Look for cuts with even thickness and marbling, as they tend to be juicier and more tender.

  2. Seasoning: Season the beef tenderloin generously with your preferred spices, herbs, or a dry rub. This adds flavor and enhances the taste of the meat. Allow the seasoned tenderloin to rest for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate.

  3. Trussing the tenderloin: Trussing (tying) the beef tenderloin helps maintain its shape during cooking, resulting in even cooking. Use kitchen twine to tie the tenderloin every few inches along its length.

  4. Use a meat thermometer: Investing in a reliable meat thermometer is crucial for achieving the desired level of doneness. This ensures that your beef tenderloin is cooked to perfection while avoiding undercooking or overcooking.

  5. Resting the beef: After cooking the beef tenderloin in the air fryer, let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute and results in a more flavorful and moist final product.

  6. Serving suggestions: Consider serving the cooked beef tenderloin with various accompaniments such as sauces, flavored butters, or a side of roasted vegetables. This elevates the overall dining experience and complements the flavors of the beef.

  7. Experiment with different flavors: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different marinades, seasonings, or rubs to add variety and enhance the flavor profile of your beef tenderloin. From garlic and herb to spicy barbecue, there are endless possibilities to explore.

Conclusion

Cooking beef tenderloin in an air fryer can be a convenient and efficient way to achieve a deliciously cooked piece of meat. By following the recommended cooking times and using a meat thermometer to check for doneness, you can ensure you achieve the desired level of cooked beef tenderloin. In case of any mishap, there are various ways to salvage the meat, ranging from thin slicing to additional cooking time. Remember to experiment with different flavors and accompaniments to enhance the taste and elevate your dish. With these tips and techniques in mind, you can confidently cook beef tenderloin in your air fryer and enjoy juicy and flavorful results.

FAQS

What Is An Air Fryer And How Does It Work?

An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that uses hot air circulation to cook food, similar to a convection oven. The heat is generated by a heating element and a fan evenly distributes the hot air, allowing food to cook quickly and evenly.

Can I Cook Beef Tenderloin In An Air Fryer?

Yes, beef tenderloin can be cooked in an air fryer. It is a lean and tender cut of meat that can be a tasty and healthy option when cooked in an air fryer.

How Do I Prepare The Beef Tenderloin Before Cooking It In The Air Fryer?

Before cooking, season the beef tenderloin with your desired spices, marinade, or rub. Making small slits on the meat and rubbing in the seasoning can enhance the flavor. The meat should also be at room temperature before cooking.

What Temperature And Time Should I Set The Air Fryer To When Cooking Beef Tenderloin?

To cook a whole beef tenderloin, set the air fryer to 400°F and cook for 20-30 minutes, depending on the desired level of doneness. It is recommended to use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 135°F for medium-rare, 145°F for medium, or 160°F for well done.

Are There Any Tips For Cooking Beef Tenderloin In An Air Fryer?

To avoid overcooking, it is important to monitor the meat’s internal temperature. You can also spray the beef tenderloin with a little bit of oil to prevent sticking. Let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute before slicing and serving.