If you're looking for a delicious and easy way to prepare turkey tenderloins, look no further than your trusty air fryer. Cooking your turkey in an air fryer is a great way to get that perfectly crispy exterior while keeping the meat inside nice and juicy. And when you wrap that turkey in bacon? You've got a meal that's sure to impress. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know to make the perfect bacon wrapped turkey tenderloin in your air fryer.
The benefits of cooking turkey tenderloin in an air fryer
Cooking your turkey tenderloin in an air fryer has a number of benefits. For one, the air fryer cooks your food quickly and evenly, without the need for a lot of oil or butter. This means your turkey tenderloin will be crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, without any added fat. Additionally, air frying your turkey is a great way to cut down on cooking time, which is always a plus when you're trying to get dinner on the table.
How to prepare the turkey tenderloin for air frying
Before you start cooking your turkey tenderloin, you'll want to make sure it's properly prepared. This means trimming any excess fat or silver skin from the meat, and seasoning it with salt and pepper. You can also marinate your turkey tenderloin if you like; just be sure to pat it dry before cooking so that it crisps up nicely in the air fryer.
Another important step in preparing your turkey tenderloin for air frying is to let it come to room temperature before cooking. This will ensure that the meat cooks evenly and stays juicy. Simply take the turkey tenderloin out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking and let it sit on the counter. Once it's at room temperature, you can proceed with trimming, seasoning, and marinating as desired.
Choosing the right bacon for your turkey tenderloin
When it comes to wrapping your turkey tenderloin in bacon, you'll want to choose the right kind of bacon for the job. Look for bacon that's thin and flexible, so that it will be easy to wrap around the tenderloin. Thick cut bacon may not wrap as well and can take longer to crisp up in the air fryer.
Another important factor to consider when choosing bacon for your turkey tenderloin is the flavor. Some bacon brands have a smoky or salty flavor that can overpower the taste of the turkey. If you prefer a milder flavor, look for bacon that is labeled as "uncured" or "no nitrates added."
Lastly, consider the quality of the bacon. Higher quality bacon, such as artisanal or locally sourced bacon, may have a better texture and flavor than mass-produced bacon. While it may be more expensive, it can make a big difference in the overall taste of your dish.
Step-by-step instructions for wrapping your turkey tenderloin with bacon
Wrapping your turkey tenderloin with bacon may seem intimidating, but it's actually quite simple. Start by laying your bacon out on a cutting board, slightly overlapping each slice. Place your turkey tenderloin on top of the bacon, and then wrap the bacon around it, tucking the ends of the bacon underneath the tenderloin if necessary. You can secure the bacon with toothpicks if you like, but it's not strictly necessary.
Once you have wrapped your turkey tenderloin with bacon, you can add some additional seasonings or herbs to enhance the flavor. Some popular options include garlic powder, rosemary, or thyme. Simply sprinkle the seasonings over the bacon-wrapped tenderloin before cooking.
When it comes to cooking your bacon-wrapped turkey tenderloin, there are a few different methods you can try. One option is to bake it in the oven at 375°F for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Another option is to grill it over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Whichever method you choose, be sure to let the tenderloin rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Tips for achieving a perfectly crispy bacon wrap
Getting that crispy, golden exterior on your bacon-wrapped turkey tenderloin is key to making it a success. To achieve this, be sure to preheat your air fryer before adding the turkey. You may also want to lightly brush your turkey with olive oil or melted butter; this can help the bacon crisp up nicely. And be sure not to overcrowd your air fryer basket, as this can lead to uneven cooking.
Another tip for achieving a perfectly crispy bacon wrap is to use thin-sliced bacon. Thick bacon can take longer to cook and may not crisp up as well. Additionally, you can try flipping the bacon-wrapped turkey halfway through cooking to ensure even browning on all sides. Finally, let the turkey rest for a few minutes before slicing into it; this will help the juices redistribute and prevent the bacon from becoming soggy.
The ideal temperature and cook time for your bacon wrapped turkey tenderloin
When cooking your bacon-wrapped turkey tenderloin in the air fryer, you'll want to set the temperature to 375°F and cook for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165°F. Be sure to flip the tenderloin over halfway through cooking to ensure even browning.
It's important to note that the thickness of your turkey tenderloin can affect the cook time. If your tenderloin is thicker than 1 inch, you may need to add an additional 5-10 minutes of cook time to ensure it's fully cooked. Additionally, if you prefer your bacon to be extra crispy, you can increase the temperature to 400°F for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Remember to always use a meat thermometer to ensure your turkey is fully cooked and safe to eat.
How to check if your turkey tenderloin is fully cooked
The only way to know for sure if your turkey tenderloin is fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat (without touching the bone) and make sure it reads 165°F. If you don't have a meat thermometer, you can also cut into the meat to check if it's cooked all the way through; the juices should run clear.
It's important to let your turkey tenderloin rest for at least 5-10 minutes after cooking before slicing into it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful dish. Cover the meat with foil to keep it warm while it rests.
Delicious seasoning and marinade ideas to enhance the flavor of your bacon wrapped turkey tenderloin
While bacon is always a delicious addition to turkey tenderloin, there are plenty of other seasonings and marinades you can use to take your meal to the next level. Try rubbing your turkey with a mix of herbs and spices, or marinating it in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. You can even add a bit of sweetness with a honey and Dijon mustard glaze. The possibilities are endless!
Another great way to add flavor to your bacon wrapped turkey tenderloin is to stuff it with a delicious filling. Try stuffing it with a mixture of breadcrumbs, herbs, and chopped nuts, or with a combination of sautéed onions, mushrooms, and spinach. You can also add some cheese to the filling for an extra burst of flavor. Just make sure to secure the bacon around the stuffed tenderloin with toothpicks before cooking.
Pairing suggestions: side dishes and wine recommendations to complement your dish
A bacon-wrapped turkey tenderloin makes for a great centerpiece of a meal, but you'll want to make sure you have some delicious sides to go with it. Try serving your turkey with roasted Brussels sprouts, mashed sweet potatoes, or a simple green salad. As for wine, a light red like Pinot Noir or a crisp white like Sauvignon Blanc pair well with turkey.
If you're looking for a vegetarian option to pair with your bacon-wrapped turkey tenderloin, consider serving a quinoa and roasted vegetable salad or a wild rice pilaf. These dishes will add some variety to your meal and provide a healthy option for your guests.
For those who prefer a sweeter wine, a Riesling or Gewürztraminer can also be a great pairing with turkey. These wines have a fruity flavor that complements the savory taste of the turkey. If you're looking for a non-alcoholic option, consider serving sparkling water with a splash of cranberry juice for a festive touch.
How to store and reheat leftover bacon wrapped turkey tenderloin
If you have leftover bacon-wrapped turkey tenderloin, you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days. To reheat, simply place the turkey in an air fryer set to 350°F for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through. You can also reheat in the microwave or oven, if you prefer.
It's important to note that when reheating bacon-wrapped turkey tenderloin, the bacon may not be as crispy as it was when it was first cooked. To help restore some of the crispiness, you can place the turkey under the broiler for a few minutes after reheating.
If you don't plan on eating the leftover turkey within four days, you can also freeze it for later use. Wrap the turkey tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. When you're ready to eat it, thaw the turkey in the fridge overnight and then reheat using one of the methods mentioned above.
Variations on the recipe: experimenting with different types of meat and seasonings
Finally, don't be afraid to get creative with this recipe! While turkey tenderloin is a great choice, you could also try wrapping chicken or pork in bacon and cooking it in your air fryer. And when it comes to seasonings, the sky's the limit. Play around with different spice blends and marinades to find your perfect combination.
With these tips, you're well on your way to making the perfect bacon-wrapped turkey tenderloin in your air fryer. Whether you're cooking for a crowd or just looking to treat yourself to a fancy meal at home, this recipe is sure to impress. Happy cooking!
If you're feeling adventurous, you could also try adding some vegetables to the mix. Wrap the meat around asparagus spears or zucchini slices before cooking for a delicious and healthy twist on this recipe. You could also experiment with different types of bacon, such as maple or applewood smoked, to add even more flavor to your dish.