Unlock the Juicy Goodness: Master the Art of Cooking Turkey Tips in Your Air Fryer

Are you a fan of delicious, lean turkey meat but dread the hassle of cooking a whole bird? Look no further than your trusty air fryer! Cooking turkey tips (also known as turkey tenderloins) in an air fryer is a game-changer that will revolutionize your weeknight dinners. These tender, flavorful cuts of turkey breast are not only incredibly easy to prepare but also cook in a fraction of the time compared to traditional oven methods.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the world of air frying turkey tips, from understanding what they are to mastering the perfect cooking technique. Get ready to impress your family and friends with a juicy, succulent main course that’s both healthy and bursting with flavor!

What are Turkey Tips (Tenderloins)?

Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s first understand what turkey tips (or tenderloins) are. Turkey tenderloins are long, thin strips of meat that are cut from the breast area of the turkey. They are boneless, skinless, and incredibly tender, making them a versatile and convenient choice for quick meals.

Unlike cooking a whole turkey breast or an entire bird, turkey tenderloins have a shorter cooking time and are perfect for those nights when you want a delicious, protein-packed meal without the fuss. They’re also an excellent choice for those following a healthier lifestyle, as turkey is a lean source of protein that’s lower in calories and fat compared to other meats.

Why Cook Turkey Tips in an Air Fryer?

While turkey tenderloins can be cooked using various methods, such as grilling, baking, or pan-frying, air frying offers several unique advantages:

  • Quick Cooking Time: Air fryers are known for their ability to cook food faster than traditional ovens, and turkey tips are no exception. You can have a delicious, juicy turkey tenderloin on the table in as little as 20-30 minutes!

  • Crispy Exterior, Juicy Interior: The rapid air circulation in an air fryer creates a beautifully crispy exterior while locking in the natural juices, resulting in a perfectly cooked, moist, and tender turkey tenderloin.

  • Minimal Oil Required: Air fryers require little to no oil for cooking, making turkey tips a healthier option compared to deep-frying or pan-frying.

  • Easy Cleanup: With an air fryer, there’s no messy oven or stovetop to clean up afterward. Simply remove the basket or tray, and you’re good to go!

  • Versatile Cooking Appliance: Air fryers are not just for turkey tips – you can use them to cook a wide variety of dishes, from crispy fries and vegetables to delectable desserts.

Ingredients and Equipment Needed

To cook delicious turkey tips in your air fryer, you’ll need the following ingredients and equipment:


  • 2 turkey tenderloins (approximately 3/4 lb each)
  • Olive oil or avocado oil (for rubbing)
  • Dry seasonings (e.g., salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, paprika)


  • Air fryer (basket or oven-style)
  • Meat thermometer
  • Basting brush (optional)

Step-by-Step Recipe for Air Fryer Turkey Tips

1. Prepare the Turkey Tenderloins

Start by removing the turkey tenderloins from their packaging and rinsing them under cool water. Pat them dry with paper towels to ensure they are completely dry before seasoning.

2. Season the Turkey Tenderloins

In a small bowl, mix together your desired dry seasonings. You can keep it simple with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs, or get creative with a spice blend like Cajun seasoning or a dry brine mixture.

Rub the turkey tenderloins all over with a thin layer of oil (olive or avocado oil works great). Then, generously season the tenderloins with the dry seasoning mixture, ensuring even coverage on all sides.

3. Preheat the Air Fryer

Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C). If you’re using an oven-style air fryer, make sure to place the air fryer tray or basket on the lower rack.

4. Cook the Turkey Tenderloins

Carefully place the seasoned turkey tenderloins in the air fryer basket or on the air fryer tray, ensuring they are not overcrowded. If necessary, cook the tenderloins in batches.

Cook the turkey tenderloins for approximately 20-25 minutes, flipping or rotating them halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning.

5. Check for Doneness

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the turkey tenderloins. They should reach a minimum internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the tenderloin to get an accurate reading.

6. Rest and Serve

Once the turkey tenderloins have reached the desired internal temperature, remove them from the air fryer and let them rest for 5-10 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and juicy turkey tenderloin.

After resting, slice the turkey tenderloins and serve them hot with your favorite side dishes, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a crisp salad.

Pro Tips and Tricks for Perfectly Cooked Turkey Tips

To ensure your turkey tenderloins turn out perfectly every time, keep these pro tips and tricks in mind:

  • Dry Brine for Extra Flavor: For an extra flavor boost, consider dry brining your turkey tenderloins before cooking. Simply rub them with a mixture of salt, herbs, and spices, and let them sit in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.

  • Baste for Added Moisture: If you want to add an extra layer of moisture and flavor, consider basting the turkey tenderloins with melted butter, olive oil, or a seasoned liquid (like broth or wine) every 10 minutes during the cooking process.

  • Watch for Browning: Keep an eye on the turkey tenderloins and cover them loosely with aluminum foil if they start to brown too quickly before they’re fully cooked.

  • Let it Rest: Resist the temptation to slice into the turkey tenderloins immediately after cooking. Allowing them to rest for 5-10 minutes ensures the juices are properly redistributed, resulting in a more tender and juicy turkey.

  • Use Leftovers Creatively: If you have any leftovers, don’t let them go to waste! Shredded or sliced turkey tenderloins can be used in sandwiches, salads, soups, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I cook frozen turkey tenderloins in the air fryer?

While it’s possible to cook frozen turkey tenderloins in the air fryer, it’s generally not recommended. Frozen meat can cook unevenly and may result in a dry or undercooked interior. For best results, make sure to thaw the turkey tenderloins in the refrigerator before cooking.

2. How long does it take to cook turkey tenderloins in the air fryer?

The cooking time for turkey tenderloins in the air fryer can vary depending on their size and thickness, as well as the wattage of your air fryer. As a general guideline, two 3/4 lb turkey tenderloins will take approximately 20-25 minutes to cook at 400°F (200°C).

3. Should I remove the netting or string from the turkey tenderloins before cooking?

It’s generally recommended to remove any netting or string from the turkey tenderloins before cooking in the air fryer. This will allow the seasoning to penetrate the meat better and prevent the netting from burning or sticking to the turkey.

4. Can I brine the turkey tenderloins before air frying?

Yes, you can absolutely brine the turkey tenderloins before air frying. Brining helps to enhance the moisture and flavor of the turkey meat. However, be sure to pat the tenderloins completely dry before seasoning and air frying to ensure proper browning and crisping.

5. What should I do if the turkey tenderloins start to brown too quickly?

If the turkey tenderloins start to brown too quickly before they’re fully cooked, simply cover them loosely with a piece of aluminum foil. This will prevent the exterior from burning while allowing the interior to continue cooking.


Cooking turkey tips (tenderloins) in the air fryer is a game-changer for anyone looking to enjoy a delicious, juicy, and healthy main course without the hassle of cooking a whole turkey. With its quick cooking time, crispy exterior, and juicy interior, the air fryer delivers restaurant-quality results with minimal effort.

By following the step-by-step recipe and incorporating the pro tips and tricks, you’ll be able to consistently produce mouthwatering turkey tenderloins that will impress your family and friends. So, fire up your air fryer and get ready to unlock the juicy goodness of perfectly cooked turkey tips!

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