How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon | www.floatingkitchen.net

How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon

This post was originally published here on September 29, 2014. It is THE most popular recipe on my blog (and for a good reason!), so I thought it deserved some updated photographs! Enjoy!

I get a lot of questions about my dietary preferences. Probably the most common one being “are you a vegetarian?”.

To set the record straight, I am not. I just don’t consume a lot of meat. I prefer to follow a plant-based diet about 90% of the time. Because I find that when I do so, not only do I feel better on the inside, but I also look better on the outside.

In short, fruits and vegetables make me a happy person.

But when I do choose to splurge on meat, I choose to go BIG. If I’m out at a restaurant, I’ll order a burger with ALL the toppings (and a side of fries, of course!). And if I’m at home cooking for a special occasion (like Christmas Eve or Valentine’s Day), then I like to make filet mignon.

How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon | www.floatingkitchen.net

This recipe for How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon has been my go-to method for many years now. It’s simple, straightforward and essentially foolproof. And that’s the most important part. Because let’s be honest with ourselves, filet mignon is an expensive cut of beef. And you don’t want to f*** it up.

So if you want steakhouse quality filet mignon without having to go through all the trouble on putting on real pants, then give this recipe a try.

How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon | www.floatingkitchen.net

Before starting, please read over the entire recipe instructions (I mean, you should ALWAYS do this before attempting any new recipe!). You might also want to peruse the comment section. Many readers have made tweaks to the original instructions (for example, in the type of pan or oil used) and have still had amazing success with this recipe. So if you have a common question, chances are pretty good that you’ll find the answer somewhere below!

How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon | www.floatingkitchen.net

Here are the points that I think are the most important to achieving success:
(1) Give your filets time to come to room temperature before cooking.
(2) Use a timer! Don’t just guess the cooking times. Things happen quickly here. And in the span of just 1-2 minutes time, your filets can go from exactly the way you want them to overcooked. For reference, the pictures in this post are of two 8-ounce filets cooked in the oven for 6 minutes (see step 4 in the instructions).
(3) Resist the urge to move the filets around in the sauté pan. You want to get that perfect sear on the outside. Let them be!
(4) After the first 4 minutes of cook time, flip the filets over to the second side and IMMEDIATLEY transfer everything to your oven (see step 4 in the instructions). The filets will simultaneously sear on the second side while cooking in the center.

I know a lot of people like sauce(s) and/or topping(s) on their filet mignon. But frankly, I just don’t. I find the flavor and texture of perfectly cooked filet mignon to be wonderful all on its own. It doesn’t need to be dressed up or disguised. A pinch of kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and a spoonful of juices from the pan is enough for me. And while I certainly can’t stop you from slathering steak sauce all over your filet mignon, I wouldn’t be doing my duty as a food blogger if I didn’t at least try to encourage you not to do so.

Cheers,

Liz

How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon | www.floatingkitchen.net

How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon

Ingredients:

  • 2 filet mignon steaks, each about 6- to 8-ounces and 2-inches thick
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Remove the filets from your refrigerator and set them on your counter top for approximately 30 minutes. This allows them to come to room temperature. Filet mignon is lean and typically does not require any trimming.
  2. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
  3. After your filets have come to room temperature, season the top and bottom surfaces with salt and black pepper, using your fingers to gently press down on the seasoning so it adheres to the meat. Do not season the sides. Set aside.
  4. Heat an oven-proof stainless steel sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and let it get hot. Then add the filets and let them cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. DO NOT move the filets around in the pan during this time. Then, using a pair of tongs, flip the filets over to the second side and IMMEDIATELY transfer the entire sauté pan to your pre-heated oven. Cook the filets in your oven for 5-8 minutes, depending on your preferred level of doneness: 5-6 minutes for rare, 6-7 minutes for medium-rare or 7-8 minutes for medium.
  5. Carefully remove the sauté pan from your oven and transfer the filets to a clean plate. Tent them with foil and let them rest for 5-7 minutes. Do not leave the filets to rest in your sauté pan, or they will overcook due to the residual heat in the pan.
  6. Transfer the filets to serving plates, spooning any residual juices over top. Serve immediately.

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402 comments on “How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon”

  1. I just cooked my 3 Filet Mignons with your recipe & OMG, they are AMAZING! Thank you.💗
    I’m so Happy & so is my Husband. What a Great Recipe you shared. They turned out so Great & Juicy! I’ve NEVER cooked Filet Mignons like this.
    You are a GENIUS!🤗👊✌🖒💞

    • Oh I’m so happy to hear this, Laurie! Yay!

      • Dear Floating Kitchen, Followed your FM recipe EXACTLY, used stop watch timer ! perfect delicious filet mignon first try ! thanks, big help. was skeptical, thought over cooking but stuck to the 4+7 and was perfect… foil tent rest i believe very important, most people new to cooking dont know that…

      • Yay! That’s great, Bob! Using an actually timer definitely helps!

  2. I was terrified to cook filet mignon steaks for the first time on Valentine’s Day but followed your recipe to a “T” and they turned out perfectly! Thank you!!!!

  3. Does this method produce a lot of smoke?  I don’t have a vent over my oven/stove and the last time (years ago) I tried to cook steak at home it smoked us out!

  4. WOW!!! This recipe is a Winner: ) I’m always nervous when cooking meat. But I’ve never made steaks this delicious. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe : ) Will continue to use for years to come. YAY!!!

  5. I was planning to grill but the promised warm snap ended up being 38 and rainy so I needed an indoor recipe. Used cast iron skillet and this was superb! I put in some marinated asparagus at the same time as I popped the steaks into the oven. Best meal ever. Thank you!!

    • Oh love the idea of adding asparagus spears to the pan when you pop it in the oven. I’m going to try that next time. Thanks for the tip! And glad you loved the recipe!

  6. I just tried your approach, and WOW! Perfection Indeed! Seared on the outside, tender and juicy inside. I’m going to start doing my steaks like this too. Thank you!!

  7. I used your recipe for the third time yesterday, and couldn’t have been happier with the results. The first two times I used it I was only cooking two filets for my husband and myself, who both like our meat medium rare. Yesterday I prepared a meal for six of us – one who likes her filet extremely well done, two who wanted their’s medium, and three of us who wanted medium rare. With the use of multiple timers, they all turned out PERFECTLY – and everyone said it was the best filet they’d ever had. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for this excellent fool-proof recipe! I will definitely be serving more filet mignon in the future!

    • Hi Julie! Your comment totally just made my day! And hooray for using timers and getting everyone’s filet done to their liking!

      • Glad I made YOUR day, too! My son called the next day and said his girlfriend, who’s from New York City, said it was the best meal she’d ever had! *thud*

      • Hooray! That’s awesome, Julie!

  8. Just tried your recipe and it was bangin !!

  9. Followed the directions exactly, this was perfection!

  10. I assumed filet mignon was a bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin but the recipe didn’t say anything about bacon at all. I’m confused.

  11. I found filets for $5 per pound yesterday, and I couldn’t pass them up at that price. I’ve tried to cook filets in the past (it’s been many years), but they turned out just okay–my husband and I both like our meat cooked to medium well, and filets tend to get tough cooked to that level of doneness. I was hopeful that this recipe would get better results, but I wasn’t expecting much. They were perfect! Cooked through, but still very tender. So good that I am going back to buy more for dinner tomorrow. 
     

  12. what do you supposed the difference will be if I used a cast iron skillet instead of stainless sauté pan?  I have both pans but always thought cast iron was better for steak.  

    • Cast iron retains heat a bit better, so I would suspect you might need to shave a teeny bit of time off the overall cooking time.

  13. Tonight was the third time we followed your recipe. It works like a charm. So happy I can pull this at home, each time! Love the repeatable process with expected outcome when it comes to fillet 🙂

    I am using garlic salt with lemon pepper mix. Tonight, added few extra shakes as the last time it was not salty enough. Prefer it this way as the spicy mix cooked with the meat.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Ivan! Awesome to hear that you have repeated success with this recipe. That totally just made my morning! And love the idea of lemon-pepper seasoning to change things up. I will try that myself next time!

  14. Almost perfect. Mine came out well done. It was still tender. Most likely because it was a 5/8″ thick 6 oz’er. I tried for medium at 7 minutes in the oven. Next time I’ll cut back sear time to 3 min. and bake time to 5 min. Will that do the trick or will I end up with rare? If that’s the case I’ll stick it back in for a bit.

    I roasted broccoli as one side and zapped sweat potato for the other.

  15. Can I use a skillet?

    • I assume you are asking about a cast iron skillet. Yes, several people have made this recipe with a cast iron skillet and have had success. You might need to cut back on the cooking time slightly, as cast iron retains heat very well.

  16. Absooute perfection. I will literally pass this method down to my kids…. and to everyone else that I know. 

  17. I have a question. It says to cook them on the stove for 4 minutes. Do you cook for 2 minutes on each side? Thank you.

  18. I’m going to be making two 2” thick 12oz filets. Would I need to adjust timing for medium rare?

    • I have never cooked filet mignon that size before, so I can’t give you an exact time. I’m guessing it will take longer than the smaller 6-8 ounce filets I typically make.

  19. Delicious! As good as an filet I’ve had at any steakhouse! I did add melted butter that I prepped in the pan after removing the cooked filet to a plate to tent it. 

    • So glad you got perfect steakhouse quality results at home. Yay! And a little butter sounds like a good idea to me! 🙂

  20. Can I use that copper chef pan I recently purchased as advertised on the Internet. Says you don’t need to oil it.

  21. Perfect thank you now I’m not afraid to cook filet Mignon better than a restaurant and a lot cheaper keep up the good work followed the recipe 

    • Definitely much cheaper than going out to eat…and just as delicious! Glad you conquered your fears!

  22. The cast iron skillet makes ALL the difference. A good compound butter also helps to give a great flavor. Thanks for the tips!

    • Glad you have success with the cast iron. I do prefer stainless steel for this recipe, but I love my cast iron for many other things!

  23. I don’t have a pan that can go in the oven! Can I still do this with transferring it to another oven safe pan?

    • It will work. But you may not get as nice of a sear on the second side. I would pre-heat the oven safe pan to try and achieve more of a crust. And I can’t recommend cooking times, since I haven’t done this myself. Might need to add an extra minute? Will likely depends on how well you pre-heat your oven safe pan and what type of pan it is.

  24. Used copper chef pan. Timing was spot on!!!

  25. Fabulous recipe! I was a little nervous to cook a filet mignon for the first time, but I am sure glad I followed this recipe! I got that absolutely stunning crust I always struggled to achieve!
    The differences I did were:
    *I cooked the steak in a cast iron pan
    *I cooked the steak in bacon grease instead of Olive oil for flavor

    • Hi Kristen! So glad you conquered your fear of cooking filet mignon and had great success! Glad the small changes you made worked out!

  26. Amazon Treasure Truck had 28 day aged fillets today so I used your recipe. The fillets were only about 1.5″ thick and we like them rare so I pan fried for 3 minutes, finished them in the oven for 4 minutes and let them rest for 5 minutes. Turned out perfect, thanks for the recipe!

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