Learn how to cook Filet Mignon cooked two different ways – pan-seared and finished in the oven, or grilled! This steak recipe has the perfect char on the outside with a tender and buttery center.
An Easy Filet Mignon Recipe
Filet mignon is my ultimate treat meal. Give it to me for my birthday, Valentine’s Day (or any date night, really), anniversary… But, I’m a smidge embarrassed to admit that for years I was a little too intimidated to try it at home. I mean, they’re expensive – and what if I had a major fail?
Well, all I can say is YOLO.
Turns out, filet mignon is so easy to make! And, just as yummy at home. I’ve tried a few different preparations and today I’m sharing my two favorites for the perfect charred exterior with a juicy and buttery inside. 🍴
What Does Filet Mignon Mean?
The name filet mignon is French. A “filet” is a boneless slice of meat (in this case, steak), and “mignon” means dainty or cute.
This is appropriate because these particular steaks are small compared to ribeyes, Porterhouse, and other steaks. But what they lack in size, they more than makeup for by being extremely tender, lean, and buttery!
These highly prized steaks are also sometimes labeled as “tenderloin steaks,” “beef loin,” or “chateaubriand.”
A cut of filet mignon is so flavorful and tender, you do not need to use very many spices or other ingredients. For this recipe, this is all you’ll need:
- Filet Mignon: Each steak should be about six ounces in weight. If they are a little larger or a little smaller, that’s still okay – you’ll just need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Olive Oil: For rubbing into the steak.
- Salt and Pepper: I like to use coarse salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, for the boldest taste.
What’s the Difference Between Filet Mignon and Beef Tenderloin?
These two cuts of meat are almost the – one is just a bit smaller! The difference is that “beef tenderloin” usually means the entire tenderloin portion, which is often cooked as a big fancy roast. “Filet mignon” means that same large portion of beef, but sliced into small steaks.
How to Cook Filet Mignon
I’m sure everyone has a favorite way to prepare and enjoy filet mignon. I bounce between these two and can’t choose a favorite!
On the Grill:
This method is so easy. All you have to do is let the steaks come to room temperature, season them, and cook them on a hot grill for a few minutes per side. Here’s how to do it:
- Prep: Preheat your grill to HIGH heat. Oil your grill grates with avocado oil, vegetable oil, or any other high smoke point oil. Don’t use olive oil.
- Rest: Let your steaks rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before you cook them. This will help them stay as tender and juicy as possible.
- Rub and season: Rub the steaks with olive oil. Then, combine the salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the steaks all over with the salt and pepper mixture.
- Grill: Carefully lay the prepared steaks on the preheated grill. Let them cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature registers at 125˚F for medium-rare, or 130˚F for medium. Using an Instant Read Thermometer is the easiest way to check the temperature quickly and accurately.
- Rest Again: Take your perfectly-cooked steaks off of the grill, place them on a clean plat, and let them rest for about 5 minutes before serving. (This helps keep the juices in the meat, instead of letting them run out all over the plate when you cut into your steak.)
In the Oven:
Another super-simple method! You can see how the basic process is very similar to grilling, except that the steaks are finished in the oven for a couple of minutes.
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 400˚F, and set a cast iron skillet over high heat so that it can get hot, as well.
- Rest: Let your steaks rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, so they don’t have to go into the pan cold. This will help them be more juicy and tender.
- Rub and season: Rub the steaks with olive oil, and then mix together the salt and pepper in a small dish or cup. Rub the steaks all over with the salt and pepper.
- Sear: Add the steaks to the heated cast iron skillet, and cook them for 3 minutes on the first side. Flip the steaks over, and cook for 2 minutes on the second side.
- Bake: Using a couple of oven mitts or pot holders, move the hot skillet to the oven, so the steaks can bake for 4 more minutes. Check the temperature. It should registers at 125˚F for medium-rare, or 130˚F for medium. If the steaks aren’t quite there, close the oven door and let them cook for a minute longer before checking again.
- Rest Again: Once the steaks are done, take the skillet out of the oven, and place the steaks on a clean plate. Let them rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
Tips for Perfect Filet Mignon
Filet mignon is my favorite steak – EVER! I’ve really spent quite some time perfecting my technique, so be sure to follow these tips for the most perfect homemade filet mignon.
- Before You Do Anything, Rest. It’s a great idea to let your steaks rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before you cook them. You want them to be at room temperature. This is called “tempering” the meat, and it helps the outside get nicely cooked while the inside stays juicy. Yum.
- Season Well: Whether you grill or bake your steaks, make sure you rub them down with olive oil, salt and pepper. Massage it into the steak for the best flavor.
- Skillet Options: If you are pan-searing your steaks, it’s best to use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet for the best flavor. A heavy-bottomed stainless steel skillet is a good runner-up!
- Buying Filet Mignon: You can opt to purchase a beef tenderloin and slice your filets yourself or purchase pre-cut filets from your butcher. Whichever route you decide to go, make sure you choose quality beef.
There is nothing better than a perfectly cooked filet mignon served with potatoes and a green veggie. I love mashed potatoes or wedges on the side but a baked potato or twice-baked potato would be great, too. Asparagus, green beans, or Roasted Brussels Sprouts are the perfect green veggie to complete this meal.
If you want to top your steak with a sauce, I recommend blue cheese and a maple bacon jam, herbed butter, or bordelaise.
For a really decadent meal, serve your filet as the turf portion of a surf and turf. For the “surf” go with lobster, crab cakes, shrimp, or scallops. Yum! 😋
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Fridge: Before storing your leftovers, allow them to come to room temperature. Cover them in sauce so that they don’t dry out and then place them in an airtight container. You can store your leftover filet in the fridge for 4 days.
- To reheat: You want to be sure that they don’t dry out or become overcooked. To do this, you’ll need to heat them low and slow. Place your leftover filets in a baking dish in a 200F oven until they are warmed through.
Can I Freeze Leftovers?
Yes! You sure can freeze your leftovers. Before you do, you want to allow your filets to cool down to room temperature. Cover them in sauce or pan juices while they cool, so that they stay moist. Then place them in a freezer-safe airtight container or freezer bag. They can stay in your freezer for 2 to 3 months.
- 2 (about 6-ounces each) filet mignon steaks
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Let steaks rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Rub steaks with olive oil.
- Combine salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl.
- Rub steaks all over with the salt and pepper mixture.
- Set a cast iron skillet over high heat and wait for the pan to get hot.
- When the skillet is hot, add the steaks to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes; flip over and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.
- Transfer skillet to the oven and cook for 4 more minutes, or until internal temperature registers at 125˚F for medium-rare, or 130˚F for medium.
- Remove from oven; transfer steaks to a cutting board and let steaks rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting. DO NOT cut right away – the steaks will continue to cook while they rest.
- Preheat grill to HIGH heat.
- Oil your grill grates with avocado oil, vegetable oil, or any other high smoke point oil. Don’t use olive oil.
- Place the prepared steaks on the preheated grill. (NOTE: Remember to let the steaks sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking – also, season the steaks with salt and pepper.)
- Cook the steaks for 5 minutes per side, or until internal temperature registers at 125˚F for medium-rare, or 130˚F for medium.
- Remove from Grill and let rest 5 minutes before cutting.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.