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Many years ago, when a friend showed me how to cook filet mignon in the oven at home, I didn’t believe her at first that it could be that easy. After all, a perfect filet mignon steak is one of the most expensive dishes you can get at a restaurant. Then I heard it from a couple more people that it’s quick and simple to do. They were right. The best way to cook filet mignon is a combination of pan searing first in a cast iron pan, then transferring to the oven to finish — and it’s much easier than you’d think.
Since I first made this filet mignon recipe, I’ve used the same stovetop-to-oven method for other cuts of meat, including sirloin steak, fancier tomahawk steak, juicy baked pork chops, classic New York strip steak, savory asparagus stuffed chicken, and more. It works great every time! However, if you need a shortcut, try filet mignon in the air fryer instead.
Why This Is The Perfect Filet Mignon Recipe
- Juicy, flavorful, and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside
- Browned crust on the outside
- Just a few simple ingredients and common kitchen tools
- Ready in less than 15 minutes
- Easy to prepare
- Tips and time chart for perfect doneness every time
- Made at home for a fraction of restaurant prices
What Is Filet Mignon?
Filet mignon is a small, tender cut from the beef tenderloin, which is a lean meat that runs along the sides of the cow’s spine [*]. Cooked correctly, beef filet mignon tastes like the most tender steak you’ve ever had. It has a mild flavor, minimal marbling, and a melt-in-your-mouth texture. The best ways to cook filet mignon are quickly at a high heat, such as stovetop-to-oven (what I do for this filet mignon recipe), grilling, or air frying.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for cooking filet mignon, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
How To Select Your Steak:
If you want a perfect filet mignon, first and foremost you need high quality meat. Even though it’s more expensive than some other cuts of steak, it’s well worth it and still a fraction of the price you’d pay at a nice steakhouse. Sometimes butchers use “filet mignon” and “tenderloin steak” interchangeably, so either will work. Here is what to look for:
- Source: If possible, get meat from your local butcher rather than a grocery store. The butcher will have the freshest beef and typically higher quality.
- Grade: Steak grades range from Prime (the best and most expensive, but very hard to find outside of high end restaurants) to Choice (the next best and my recommendation) to Select (which will work if that’s all you can get). It’s well worth it to get the best you can find and afford.
- Thickness: Filet mignon steaks come in a range of thicknesses from 1/2 inch up to 3 inches. Avoid the thinner steaks! The best filet mignon will be at a minimum 1.5 inches thick, preferably 2 inches thick.
- Color: Choose bright red steak, which means that it’s fresh. Avoid ones that are brown or have dark spots.
- Marbling: Filet mignon is a naturally lean cut of meat, so it won’t have a lot of marbling, but the amount will impact the final taste. Choose based on your preference, if you like a fattier steak or a leaner one.
- Grass fed or not: I prefer to buy grass fed steaks when possible. I get mine at the butcher when I can, but to save time, I also like this grass fed steak delivery service.
Filet Mignon Seasoning:
Filet mignon recipes, like most high quality steaks, don’t need a marinade or fancy seasonings to shine. All you need is a generous amount of:
- Sea Salt – 1 teaspoon per pound of meat
- Black Pepper – 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per pound of meat
I highly recommend serving steaks with compound butter, though it’s not strictly required. Even before I published a recipe for compound butter for steak, I made it for this filet mignon recipe. Here are the basic ingredients, which you can easily customize:
- Butter – I prefer unsalted butter so that I can control the amount of salt myself, but you can use salted if you prefer.
- Fresh Herbs – I used a combination of rosemary and thyme, but any fresh herbs work.
- Garlic – Mince it fresh for the best flavor, but jarred garlic works for convenience if needed.
How To Cook Filet Mignon
This section shows the best way to cook filet mignon, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Bring the steak to room temperature. If you have time, take your steaks out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. If they have any connective tissue on the edges, trim this away.
- Make garlic herb butter. Mash together butter, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. This is a variation of my compound butter recipe, which has other combinations in the same post. Form the butter into a log wrapped in plastic and refrigerate.
- Season. Pat the filet mignon steaks dry with paper towels. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
- Pan sear. Melt more (plain) butter in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. (I recommend cast iron.) Add the steaks and sear on both sides until browned, flipping only once using tongs. (The steak will not be cooked through at this point. This is normal, you just want to brown the outside.)
- Finish filet mignon in the oven. Transfer the skillet to the oven to finish cooking to your desired doneness. (See tips and time chart below for perfect filet mignon every time!) Top with garlic herb butter.
- Rest. Transfer the steak to a plate and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting into it.
What Is The Right Filet Mignon Temperature?
The right filet mignon internal temp — that is, when you want to stop cooking it — is 120 degrees F for rare, 130 degrees F for medium rare, 140 degrees F for medium, and 150 degrees F for medium well. The temperature will rise by another 5 degrees F while resting.
How Long To Cook Filet Mignon In The Oven?
Filet mignon cook time depends on the thickness of your steak and how you like it done. For medium rare filet mignon that is 2 inches thick, sear for 2 minutes per side on the stove to brown, then bake in the oven for about 5-6 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F. Rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
For best results, use a meat thermometer to test your filet mignon recipe for doneness rather than relying on time. (Even better, use a probe thermometer, which will beep when the right internal temp is reached.) Do not cut it open to check!
If you don’t have a thermometer or just want a starting point, the following is a good filet mignon time chart to follow. It assumes 2-inch-thick steaks, so you’ll need less time for thinner steaks.
Filet Mignon Cook Time Chart
|Doneness||Brown On The Stove||Then Oven For||Target Temperature *|
|Rare||2 minutes per side||4-5 minutes||120 degrees F|
|Medium Rare||2 minutes per side||5-6 minutes||130 degrees F|
|Medium||2 minutes per side||6-7 minutes||140 degrees F|
|Medium Well||2 minutes per side||7-8 minutes||150 degrees F|
|Well Done||2 minutes per side||8-9 minutes||160 degrees F|
NOTE: The meat temperature will rise another five degrees as it rests. The guidelines above are the temperature that the steak should be when you take it out of the oven, before resting. A medium rare filet mignon will look like the picture below after it rests.
Tips For The Best Filet Mignon Recipe
Follow these tips for perfectly cooked filet mignon every time:
- Choose quality beef. I can’t stress it enough: the best filet mignon starts with quality steak. There’s no doubt that this cut is expensive, but when you compare it to restaurant prices, cooking filet mignon at home costs about the same as a burger at a casual restaurant!
- Trim if needed. Filet mignon is naturally lean, but it often comes with a layer of connective tissue along the edges. If your butcher didn’t already remove this, make sure to cut it off for the best texture.
- Pat dry. Drying the steaks with paper towels ensures that they will sear well.
- Season simply, but liberally. All you need is salt and pepper, but do use a generous amount.
- Use high heat, with the right pan. High heat is critical to getting a good sear on your steak, so you need a pan that heats up to a very high temperature (like this cast iron skillet), so put away that non-stick cookware. The way cast iron distributes heat can’t be beat and it will get you that gorgeous nice crust on the outside. Plus, it allows you to finish the filet mignon in the oven after pan searing, which is an important step.
- Don’t move the steaks around. When you pan sear filet mignon, you need prolonged contact with the pan, without moving, to get ideal browning. Resist the urge to check or move the steaks around. At medium-high heat, 2 minutes per side without moving is all you need to get a good sear.
- Don’t overcook. I highly recommend cooking this filet mignon recipe to medium rare, or at most no more than medium. This is a very lean cut of meat, so it will be dry if you overcook it. (Use the filet mignon cook time chart above as a guide, along with a meat thermometer.)
- Let it rest. If you cut into your steak right ater cooking, all the juices will spill out onto the plate and you’ll end up with a dry steak. Resting lets the juices re-absorb into the meat, leaving you with the juicy filet mignon that you want.
- Store: Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. You can use them in sandwiches, tacos, sliced on top of salads, or reheat it the right way using the method below.
- Freeze: You can freeze filet mignon for 2-3 months. It’s best to freeze before cooking, but if you have leftovers you want to freeze, you still can.
I like to reheat filet mignon recipes the same way that I reheat reverse sear steak, which can be made with any cut of meat but I used filet there as well. Here is how to reheat it without drying it out:
- Preheat the oven to a low temperature, such as 250 or 300 degrees F.
- Place the steaks in a baking dish and add a little broth to the bottom (this will create steam to keep moisture in). Seal the top with foil.
- Heat in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until warm.
What To Serve With Filet Mignon
Now that you know how to cook the perfect filet mignon, complete your meal with simple steakhouse sides:
- Potatoes – Popular options include roasted potatoes (or roasted sweet potatoes), mashed potatoes, or for healthier alternatives, mashed cauliflower or roasted rutabaga.
- Surf And Turf – For a special occasion, pair your filet mignon recipe with crab legs, a lobster tail recipe, or shrimp skewers.
- Brussels Sprouts – You can make pan fried brussels sprouts or roasted brussels sprouts (pictured above).
- Creamed Spinach – Always a classic with steak.
- Asparagus – Try roasted asparagus or sauteed asparagus.
- Cast Iron Skillet – This is crucial for getting the heat high enough for a great sear. Plus, it goes straight into the oven.
- Meat Thermometer – Unlike others, this reads super quickly and accurately, so you avoid overcooking your steak.
- Cooking Alarm Thermometer – You can set the desired internal temperature on this thermometer and it will beep when it’s ready, for the perfect filet mignon every time.
Best Way To Cook Filet Mignon
Filet Mignon Recipe (Perfect Every Time!)
Learn how to cook filet mignon perfectly like a steakhouse (with time chart). This easy filet mignon recipe is melt-in-your-mouth tender.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
If possible, remove your filet mignon from the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking to bring it to room temperature. (This will ensure even cooking.)
Mash together half of the butter (1 tablespoon, 14 g), rosemary, thyme, and garlic. (Sprinkle in a little sea salt if using unsalted butter.) Form into a log and refrigerate until the last step.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
Trim any connective tissue around the edges of the steaks. Pat dry with paper towels.
Season filet mignon liberally with sea salt and black pepper on all sides.
Heat the cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, until the skillet is very hot. Melt the remaining butter (1 tablespoon, 14 g) in the skillet.
Add the steaks. Sear for 2 minutes on each side, without moving them around.
Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Cook filet mignon in the oven to desired level of doneness. (I recommend medium rare.) For a 2-inch (5 cm) thick filet, that is 5 minutes for rare, 6 minutes for medium rare, 7 minutes for medium, or 8 minutes for medium well. Use a meat thermometer to check for the right temperature – 120 degrees F (52 degrees C) for rare, 130 degrees F (54 degrees C) for medium rare, 140 degrees F (60 degrees C) for medium, and 155 degrees F (68 degrees C) for medium well. The temperature will rise by another 5 degrees F while resting (see next step).
Remove the steaks from the oven and transfer to a plate. Top each with 1/2 tablespoon (7 g) of herb butter (slice the log of herb butter into four parts and put one on each steak). Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes before serving and slicing.
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Serving size: 4 oz, or 1/2 of an 8-oz filet mignon with compound butter
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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