If you're looking for a quick and easy way to cook turkey tenderloins, you may want to consider using an air fryer. Cooking turkey tenderloins in an air fryer has several benefits. Not only is it a healthier option compared to deep-frying, but it also produces crispy, juicy turkey tenderloins that are perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a weekend BBQ. In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about cooking air fryer turkey tenderloins — from choosing the right air fryer to storing and reheating leftover turkey tenderloins.
The benefits of cooking turkey tenderloins in an air fryer
Cooking turkey tenderloins in an air fryer has several advantages. First of all, it's a healthier option compared to deep-frying since it uses less oil. This means you can enjoy delicious, crispy turkey tenderloins without worrying about consuming excess fat. Secondly, an air fryer cooks turkey tenderloins quickly and evenly. This means you can have dinner ready in no time without sacrificing flavor or texture. Finally, using an air fryer saves you time and energy, as you won't need to preheat an oven or wait for oil to heat up, making it a great option for busy weeknights.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, cooking turkey tenderloins in an air fryer also helps to retain the natural juices and flavors of the meat. This is because the hot air circulates around the meat, sealing in the moisture and creating a crispy exterior. This results in tender and juicy turkey tenderloins that are bursting with flavor.
Another advantage of using an air fryer to cook turkey tenderloins is that it's a versatile cooking method. You can season the turkey tenderloins with your favorite spices and herbs, or even marinate them beforehand for extra flavor. You can also experiment with different cooking times and temperatures to achieve your desired level of doneness. This means you can customize your turkey tenderloins to your liking and create a variety of delicious meals.
How to choose the right air fryer for cooking turkey tenderloins
Before you start cooking turkey tenderloins in an air fryer, you need to ensure you have the right appliance for the job. There are several things to consider when choosing an air fryer, including capacity, wattage, and features. For cooking turkey tenderloins, you want an air fryer with a capacity of at least 2.5 quarts. You also want to look for an air fryer with a wattage of at least 1200 watts, as this will ensure that your turkey tenderloins cook quickly and evenly. Finally, look for an air fryer with adjustable temperature and timer settings, as this will give you more control over the cooking process.
Another important factor to consider when choosing an air fryer for cooking turkey tenderloins is the type of basket it has. A non-stick basket is ideal, as it will prevent the turkey tenderloins from sticking to the basket and make cleaning up easier. Additionally, a basket with holes or perforations will allow for better air circulation and ensure that your turkey tenderloins are evenly cooked. Keep these factors in mind when choosing an air fryer for your next turkey tenderloin meal.
Preparing the turkey tenderloins for air frying
Preparing turkey tenderloins for air frying is a simple process. Start by patting the turkey tenderloins dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. This will help the seasonings and marinades to adhere better to the meat. Next, season the turkey tenderloins with your favorite spices or marinade, rubbing it into the meat using your hands. Leave the turkey tenderloins to marinate for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This will infuse the meat with flavor and help to tenderize it.
Another important step in preparing turkey tenderloins for air frying is to preheat the air fryer. This will ensure that the turkey tenderloins cook evenly and thoroughly. Set the air fryer to the recommended temperature for turkey tenderloins, which is usually around 375°F. Once the air fryer is preheated, place the turkey tenderloins in the basket, making sure they are not touching each other.
It is also important to monitor the cooking time of the turkey tenderloins. Depending on the size and thickness of the tenderloins, they may take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to cook in the air fryer. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey tenderloins. They should reach a minimum temperature of 165°F to ensure they are fully cooked and safe to eat.
The best seasonings and marinades for air fryer turkey tenderloins
The great thing about cooking turkey tenderloins in an air fryer is that you can use a wide range of seasonings and marinades to flavor them. Some popular options include rosemary, thyme, sage, garlic, and lemon. You can also use pre-made marinades, such as BBQ sauce or teriyaki sauce, to add a sweet and savory flavor to your turkey tenderloins.
If you're looking for a healthier option, you can try using a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs to marinate your turkey tenderloins. This will give them a fresh and zesty flavor without adding any extra calories or sugar. Another great option is to use a dry rub made from a combination of spices, such as paprika, cumin, and chili powder, to add a smoky and spicy flavor to your turkey tenderloins. Whatever seasoning or marinade you choose, be sure to let the turkey tenderloins marinate for at least an hour before cooking to allow the flavors to fully penetrate the meat.
Step-by-step instructions for cooking turkey tenderloins in an air fryer
Cooking turkey tenderloins in an air fryer is a straightforward process. Follow these simple steps:
- Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (205°C).
- Place the turkey tenderloins in the air fryer basket, making sure they are not touching.
- Cook the turkey tenderloins for 10-12 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking process.
- Check the temperature using a meat thermometer. The turkey tenderloins should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before you remove them from the air fryer.
- Let the turkey tenderloins rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
One important thing to keep in mind when cooking turkey tenderloins in an air fryer is to avoid overcrowding the basket. If the tenderloins are too close together, they may not cook evenly and could end up undercooked in some areas. It's better to cook them in batches if necessary, rather than trying to fit them all in at once.
Tips for achieving crispy, golden-brown skin on air fryer turkey tenderloins
If you want your air fryer turkey tenderloins to have crisp, golden-brown skin, there are a few tips you can follow. First, make sure you pat the turkey tenderloins dry before seasoning them. This will help to remove any excess moisture, which can prevent the skin from crisping up. You can also brush the turkey tenderloins with a little bit of oil before cooking them, as this will help to crisp up the skin. Finally, make sure you don't overcrowd the air fryer basket, as this can prevent the turkey tenderloins from cooking evenly.
Another tip for achieving crispy, golden-brown skin on air fryer turkey tenderloins is to preheat the air fryer before cooking. This will ensure that the air fryer is at the right temperature when you add the turkey tenderloins, which is important for getting that crispy skin. Additionally, you can try flipping the turkey tenderloins halfway through cooking to ensure that both sides get evenly browned. With these tips, you'll be able to enjoy delicious, crispy air fryer turkey tenderloins every time!
Serving suggestions and side dishes that pair well with air fryer turkey tenderloins
There are many side dishes that pair well with air fryer turkey tenderloins. Some classic options include roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a simple green salad. If you're looking for something more interesting, you can also try sweet potato fries, quinoa salad, or roasted Brussels sprouts. The possibilities are endless!
For a more complete meal, you can also serve air fryer turkey tenderloins with a flavorful sauce. A cranberry sauce or a honey mustard sauce can add a sweet and tangy flavor to the dish. Additionally, you can also serve the tenderloins with a side of cranberry stuffing or a warm bowl of butternut squash soup. These dishes will complement the tenderloins and make for a delicious and satisfying meal.
How to store and reheat leftover air fryer turkey tenderloins
If you have leftover air fryer turkey tenderloins, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat them, simply place them in an oven or microwave for a few minutes until warmed through. Alternatively, you can slice the turkey tenderloins thinly and use them in sandwiches or salads for a quick and easy meal.
It's important to note that when reheating the turkey tenderloins, you should avoid overcooking them as this can cause them to become dry and tough. To prevent this, cover the turkey with a damp paper towel or wrap it in foil before reheating. This will help to retain moisture and keep the turkey tender and juicy.
If you're looking for a creative way to use up your leftover air fryer turkey tenderloins, consider making a turkey pot pie. Simply chop the turkey into bite-sized pieces and mix it with vegetables, gravy, and a pie crust. Bake in the oven until the crust is golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbly. This is a delicious and comforting way to enjoy your leftover turkey.
Frequently asked questions about cooking turkey tenderloins in an air fryer
Here are some common questions about cooking turkey tenderloins in an air fryer:
- Can I cook frozen turkey tenderloins in an air fryer? Yes, you can cook frozen turkey tenderloins in an air fryer, but you'll need to increase the cooking time by 5-7 minutes.
- Can I cook turkey tenderloins with other foods in my air fryer? Yes, you can cook turkey tenderloins with other foods in your air fryer. Just make sure you don't overcrowd the basket.
- Do I need to flip my turkey tenderloins while cooking in an air fryer? Yes, you should flip your turkey tenderloins halfway through the cooking process to ensure they cook evenly.
- What temperature should I cook turkey tenderloins in an air fryer? You should cook turkey tenderloins in an air fryer at 400°F (205°C).
With these tips and tricks, you'll be able to cook delicious, juicy air fryer turkey tenderloins in no time. Whether you're looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a weekend BBQ, this recipe is sure to be a hit with your friends and family. So fire up your air fryer and get cooking!