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air fryer pork tenderloin

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin (Air Fryer Pork Fillet)

Summer Yule
This bacon wrapped pork tenderloin air fryer recipe is the BEST way to cook pork fillet while keeping it juicy and moist! Only 4g net carbs!
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 320 kcal

Ingredients

  • lbs pork tenderloin (680 grams; unseasoned and even thickness throughout the length)
  • 9 strips bacon (not thick-cut bacon; choose one with no added sugar)
  • BBQ seasoning (I like this one)
  • 4 tablespoons BBQ sauce with no added sugar (may need a little more or less depending on the thickness of the sauce)

Instructions

  • Let the pork tenderloin rest at room temperature for one hour if you have time. If your pork tenderloin has silver skin (a silvery membrane), use a knife to remove it before beginning recipe. (Full disclosure: I never do this, but you're supposed to when making tenderloin.)
  • Lay five pieces of raw bacon parallel to each other on a clean surface. Take the remaining four pieces of bacon and weave them into the five pieces of bacon to make a bacon mat. (Check out the recipe video below for visuals!)
  • Season the pork tenderloin generously on all sides with the BBQ seasoning. 
  • Carefully roll your bacon mat around the seasoned tenderloin. The pork tenderloin should be covered all along its length with the bacon mat. If you have a particularly long tenderloin, you could always add more slices of bacon to the ends. 
  • Tie the bacon to the pork tenderloin with kitchen twine. Secure it in five places.
  • Put the pork tenderloin on an air fryer tray in the middle of the air fryer oven. (This is the lower rack position in my oven.) Air fry for 20 minutes at 400°F (200°C), flipping the pork tenderloin over after 10 minutes. 
  • Remove the pork tenderloin from the air fryer and flip it again. Generously brush the top and sides with the BBQ sauce using a pastry brush. Return the pork tenderloin to the middle of the air fryer. Air fry an additional 10 minutes at 400°F (200°C).
  • Check the thickest part of the pork tenderloin with a meat thermometer to ensure it reached a minimum safe internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
  • Let the pork tenderloin rest for 5-10 minutes before clipping the twine and cutting it into slices.

Notes

This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Any recipe wrapped in bacon and based on the bacon explosion probably isn’t going to be the lightest dish! I’m thinking there’s no surprises here that this one is a level 3. 
Bacon aside, some cuts of pork (including pork tenderloin) are actually lean proteins. In fact, pork tenderloin is about as lean as chicken breast! Chicken breast provides 3.6 grams fat per 100 grams, while pork tenderloin has 3.5 grams fat per 100 grams. 
Pork tenderloin is so lean that the dry heat of an air fryer can overcook it quickly. (This is actually an issue with air frying a lot of thicker cuts of lean meats.) If you aren’t careful, the outer surfaces of the pork loin will overcook while waiting for the inside to finish cooking. 
My delicious solution to prevent this problem was to wrap the pork tenderloin in bacon. The bacon, of course, negates the leanness of the entrée. (I’m totally willing to go this route for the flavor factor alone.) 
If you wanted to keep your pork tenderloin low fat and low calorie, you do have a few options without bacon. You could try marinating or brining pork tenderloin before air frying. This should help to keep the pork moist and juicy while it cooks. 
You could also serve the pork tenderloin with a fruit sauce or salsa that adds moisture. I love pork with this slow cooker applesauce, though pear cranberry salsa or cherry peach salsa is also wonderful. 
Of course, if you were going to make the bacon explosion and then you made this instead, you’ve already lightened up your meal. (It’s all relative, see? Haha) 
 
Nutrition information is for one serving. Sodium content depends on the amount of BBQ seasoning you use.

Nutrition

Calories: 320kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 43.5gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gIron: 9% DV
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