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

How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon

At a Glance:
Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

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

Instructions

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

  1. This turned out too rare for my family. I put them back in the oven for 20 minutes and let stand covered for 5 minutes.

  2. I used this recipe tonight and it turned out perfect! My husband likes his steak rare, and the filet migon was a bit thick, so I kept it in the oven for 8 minutes and let it rest for 7 minutes and it was just how he liked it. I will be trying this method with other cuts of meat.

  3. One of the first lessons I learned was how to cook a steak at Culinary Lab School. I felt like a culinary pro when I was able to pull off the perfect medium fillet. It was amazing. I can now get a great steak at home and it taste like an explosion of flavor in my mouth.

  4. Man am I glad I found this recipe – and so is my family. I cooked 3 PERFECT filet mignons for the first time ever! I had given up on them and stuck with the “iffy” rib-eyes which are near idiot proof. This time around I did mine medium and 2 medium well. The medium well steaks were juicy and tender!

  5. The only pan I have a cast iron pan that transfers to oven. What do I do? Cast iron lower heat or regular pan transfer to baking sheet that has been preheating in oven? Idk lol

    • Hi Kelly. Lots of people have done cast iron. I’d check the comments section for tips. But my guess (never having cooked it this way before) would be that it would require overall less time since cast iron conducts and holds heat extremely well.

  6. I’ve always been intimidated by chunky fillets of meat.
    This recipe is so easy! I will be using it whenever we feel like eating a delicious filet mignon.
    Thank you!!

  7. This turned out perfectly I’m very satisfied awesome recipe!!

  8. Soooooo glad I found this recipe!
    Never cooked a filet b4.
    They were 10oz- 2″
    4 minutes one side-
    Flipped put in 400′ oven for 8 minutes-
    Rested 5
    Perfect medium filet….juicy & tender!
    Will be using this method again.
    Many thanks!
    Paula

  9. Every time I cook this, I set the smoke detector off… as time starts to expire, more smoke. And the oven has quite a bit too when I take them out. What am I doing wrong? (But please note… the total yumminess of this recipe keeps me coming back for more… just with fans in the kitchen! 😂)

    • Hi Cyndi. Could be a number of things – anything from the type of pan, oil, cleanliness of your oven, etc. Or just could be your kitchen is super well ventilated and your smoke detectors aren’t placed in ideal spots. Very hard for me to say. I used to live in a tiny house with a smoke detector just several feet from my oven and it would go off all the time!

  10. I’ve been making this recipe for a few years, but never commented. I like my steaks medium, but I get pretty thick steaks from Costco. I have found that if I add a minute to the times, it comes out the way I like it.

    One more note: I have made this with salt and pepper many, many times and it is great. Tonight, I used some stuff my Texas friend mailed me: TexJoy Steak Seasoning. It adds a few more tastes. I like the variation.

  11. Easy to follow instructions with great results.  I’ve never been confident cooking steaks but this produced gorgeous results.  Thank you.

  12. Cooked it exactly as instructed and it burnt the top and bottom, and after oven came out undercooked. Threw it back in for 5 mins and still didnt come out right.

  13. i love your recipe!!! definitely a favorite and is perfect!
    Thank you 🙂

  14. I tried this method for the first time with three huge chunks of fillet steak and they were delicious. I cooked two of them medium rare and one of them was sliced into two pieces as she doesn’t like her meat red 🙁 .

  15. Cooking 2 6oz filets tonight in an Emeril sauté pan. Will this type of pan work successfully using this recipe?

  16. Does it matter where in the oven you place the sauté pan – top rack, bottom rack or do you move a rack so the meat sits mid-height in the oven?

  17. Claiming to be “the best” in this case is justified. However, you’ve spoiled me. Now I won’t eat any steak but filet mignon, cooked according to your directions. Truly delicious.

  18. We followed this recipe last night and were very pleased with the results. Our filets were thick, and we had to extend the oven time a bit. But we checked them with a meat thermometer until they reached the internal temp we prefer – 130-135 F. The steaks were perfect, and I cannot imagine we’ll cook filets any other way.

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