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.

All images and text ©

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

  1. I used to think I just couldnt cook a steak. But recently I was shopping for my husband’s birthday when some lovely filets jumped off the shelf! But once I got them home I was terrified! So it took me three days to get the courage but, armed with your recipe, tonight I produced FLAWLESS filet mignon! Thank you thank you thank you!

  2. I’ve used this recipe many times and the filets have always been excellent. I don’t use olive oil because it gets degraded with heat, so I like to use ghee – nice high smoke point, and it gives the meat a little buttery flavor. After I put the meat on a plate and tent it, I add a little more ghee to the pan (remember hot pan holders!) and saute some mushroom slices on the hot stove while the meat is resting. It is so good and personally, the ghee, salt and pepper are the only flavors I need with the filet mignon and mushrooms. I think I might try putting the mushrooms in the hot pan and back in the oven to saute next time and see how they come out. Thanks for mentioning the problem with teflon and heat. Everyone should know that!

    • Love love love! Thanks for sharing all this, Teresa! And I agree – mushroom and steak are a match made in heaven!

  3. Ah.ma.zing. best filet recipe ever.. my steak hating husband loved it too.

  4. How do you make it wrapped in bacon?
    Thats how chefs and the French make it. Thats how it’s most commonly made. Thats how I’ve always had it in Parisian restaurants.

    • I have never made it that way. Try checking the comments section to see if other readers have tried (I think so!). They might have some tips.

  5. My house got really smoky when I did this, how do I avoid this?

    • I have not had that problem before. What kind of pan are you using?

      • Unfortunately I don’t have a cast iron skillet, so I used a heavier thicker skillet that I do have. I was wondering if it was because I left the skillet on high rather than turning it down a little.

        I was trying to test out making it to see if I could even accomplish it before making steaks for my boyfriends birthday! Lol despite all the smoke it actually was REALLY good and I was very proud of myself 

      • I don’t use a cast iron skillet for this recipe because they do retain heat very well and can sometimes get too hot. But I know others have. You can check the comments section for recommendations. Glad it was still good, though!

      • Also, if I wanted it medium well, how long would I cook that? Or what should the temp be?

      • If you want it cooked more well done, you can add an 1-2 extra minutes of cook time.

  6.  I used your recipe and technique, but I did marinate a little with Italian dressing and it was amazing. This is my first time cooking filet mignon.

  7. The instructions were perfect! I did everything as you said and the filet turned out amazing. Thank you!

  8. Added a slice of butter and a little fresh garlic and sliced it into the middle of the Filet. Sauteed Asparagus spears with some of the juice after. Plated and then topped with a little Bearnaise sauce. Cut it with a butter knife. Was sooooo yummy.

  9. Unbelievably perfect. I didn’t have a oven friendly skillet so I used a foil covered cookie sheet with a half teaspoon of olive oil. After the 4 minutes in the skillet in flipped them on to my cookie sheet and followed the rest of the directions. Perfect!

  10. Hi, I would really like to cook our filet like this but all I have is a cast iron skillet (our other pans are definitely not oven friendly) would you suggest less time to cook? And if so, how much less? 

    • Less cook time would probably be a great idea, as cast iron retains heat better. I believe many readers have done this successfully (although I have not tried) and I think there are some tips in the comment sections. So check there!

  11. Do you cover the steak while on the stovetop? 

  12. I made a few changes/added notes that suit my own personal cooking style. Here they are in case anyone wants to give them a shot! 

    *My glass top stove is vey fickle with temperature so I heated the oil on low and once the steaks were in the pan I turned it to high. 

    *I used garlic salt instead of regular salt, red pepper in stead of black pepper and added a splash of lemon to my steaks. 

    *I seasoned the steaks while they were still cold and let them come to room temperature with the seasoning and lemon on them. 

    *When the steaks came out of the oven I tented them in a small baking dish (making sure to pour all the delicious juices on top) and let it settle while in the microwave. 

    Liz, this recipe turned out delicious! This is the first time I’ve used the oven for steaks and I’m glad that I did. Thanks for sharing! 

    -Victoria

    • Oh the red pepper sounds like a great idea. I will have to try that. Thanks for all your tips, Victoria! Glad you loved the filet!

  13. We have always barbecued are fillets but my husband went hunting I bought myself a filet and I followed your directions to the tea it was the best filet I have ever eaten including restaurants thank you so much for your recipe.

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