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.
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.
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!
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.
How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon
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.
Glad you were able to make it work for you, Cynthia.
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.
That’s awesome, Paula!
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.
Definitely a technique to have in your back pocket!
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!
Hooray! I’m so happy to hear that, Leon!
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.
A little late here, but I use cast iron on this recipe all the time. If you get the pan really hot before adding the oil (I actually spread a really thin layer of softened butter directly on the filets after the pepper, then add salt, but oil works great), you’ll need a little less time in the oven. As noted above, because the cast iron stays really hot. We like ours rare, so 4 minutes for us. 5 minutes for medium. Probably 6 for well, but I’ll never know. They come out perfectly every time. Good luck!
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.
Awesome! Glad you’re not intimidated anymore! 🙂
This turned out perfectly I’m very satisfied awesome recipe!!
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-
Perfect medium filet….juicy & tender!
Will be using this method again.
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!
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.
Thanks for the feedback, Diane!
Easy to follow instructions with great results. I’ve never been confident cooking steaks but this produced gorgeous results. Thank you.
Excellent! Happy to hear it!
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.
Hi Michael. I’m sorry to hear that. What kind of pan did you use?
i love your recipe!!! definitely a favorite and is perfect!
Thank you 🙂
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 🙁 .
Glad it worked out, Tony!
Cooking 2 6oz filets tonight in an Emeril sauté pan. Will this type of pan work successfully using this recipe?
Hi Gil, I have no experience with that line of cookware. I’m sorry!
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?
I usually aim for the middle!
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.
Oh Lewis you made me laugh! Thank you! And sorry/not sorry! 🙂
I agree! My husband used to prefer a Sirloin, but now he’s hooked on the fillets I make at home with this recipe.
That’s great, Diana!
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.
So glad to hear this, Jim!
I am very excited to try this recipe. Could you please tell me what brand of pan you use? I would appreciate it very much!
Hi Jackie. I have a Calphalon.
Is the pan to be covered either on top of stove or in the oven?
The pan should be uncovered at all times.
thank you for helping me make my best steak ever.
Love hearing that, Reagan!
This is my favorite steak and I always want to go out to eat it on my birthday. This year I told my husband, “Let’s just buy two filets and do it ourselves and save a lot of money!” So I found this recipe and it turned out perfect! Add a large baked sweet potato and a salad and we had a dinner for $14.00 instead of $40.00 plus tip! Thank you for your recipe with explicit directions!
So glad you had a great bday dinner, Eva!
Way too rare for me. Followed the recipe to a T for medium. The outside was medium but inside was blood red and jiggly, almost raw.
Add another 1-2 minutes if you want your filet done more.
Such an easy recipe to follow. Resulted in a fantastic meal.
I have Rachel Ray nonstick pans or a ceramic coated pan. Will either if these work for this recipe
Hi Lesley. I am not familiar with the Rachel Ray pans. I’m sure you can check on their website if they are oven safe to that temperature.
I’ve always been an outdoor grill steak griller but decided to do something more precise because I’m cooking two genuine Wagyu filets and certainly wanted to be careful! I followed this recipe and method exactly and so glad that I did! The steaks were tender beyond description, very flavorful, perfectly medium rare, succulent, juicy and probably sinful as well! Thanks for this post … I’ll definitely be using this again! Outstanding!
So glad it worked great for you, Dave! Cheers!
I made these last night and my husband said they were the best filets I have ever cooked. HUH?? Nothing could have been easier and they were delicious. I used a cast iron skillet, did everything as directions stated. The filets were a little thicker so I did 7 minutes in the oven (after the 4 minutes on one side on the stovetop) and they were perfect. thanks. I will be keeping this recipe (and not running to the grill wondering if I have overcooked my expensive filets).
Yay! So glad you and your husband had a nice meal!
Regarding step 4, “Heat an oven-proof stainless steel sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and let it get hot.” Do you add the oil after it gets warm? Or at the same time you put the pan on the stovetop? Also, is there an approximate time for how long before the pan is hot enough to place the filets on?
Yes, I add the olive oil after the pan starts to warm.
Thank you for the straightforward directions. I made this tonight for the first time. Came out perfect.
Wonderful! Glad you enjoyed it!
First time EVER that I cooked a Filet that got perfect!!! I followed the instructions to a “T” and it was tender, juicy and done to perfection, thank you, THANK YOU! I was incredible!!!
Awww yeah Darlene! Sounds like you nailed it!
Tried it for New Year’s dinner….WONDERFUL! Cooked the 2 Filet Mignon steaks perfectly! Thank, you!
Great way to start the New Year! Thanks, Susan!
I have been cooking Filet Mignon on the grill for years with great success and decided to try your recipe. I had 2-8oz. filets and prepared a pan on the stovetop on medium heat with a little butter and olive oil. After getting the filet’s to room temperature (which is critical in this case) I seasoned them on both sides with Lawry’s salt and Montreal Steak seasoning. Once placed in the pan I let them sear for exactly 4 minutes making sure my oven was ready at 425 Degrees. After 4 minutes I did flip the filet’s over then immediately placed in the 425 degree oven for 6 minutes exactly and actually were the closest I’m come to restaurant quality. The filet’s were medium rare, very juicy, and better than what I could have cooked on a grill. Thank you for the recipe and always wanted to try this method and glad I finally did. (The critical elements to make this recipe work are: Correct medium heat on the stove, filet’s at ROOM temperature (Mine were out for an hour prior), correct seasoning, correct placement of the rack in your oven, correct oven temperature at 425 degrees. When finished cooking in the oven immediately transfer the filet’s to a plate and tent with foil. Foolproof in my mind.
Yes having them out at room temperature is definitely critical. Glad you had a great dinner, Ronald!
Love FILET MIGNON, going to try it with Lamb MIGNON.
Never had that before. Interesting!
using this method but got one query.
Should I keep the lid on the cast iron pan throughout? Frying mode and bake mode? It certainly keeps the smoke down as well if I do.
I don’t put a lid on at any point during this recipe. But if it works for you, that’s great.
Thanks!! My fella brings home these insanely $$ 3″ prime filets, and I was never happy with how they turned out. A million thanks, they were PERFECT!! I used avocado oil and yes, a bit of butter rather than EVOO, and basted them whilst they were in the oven. Used the oil and bits in the pan while the meat rested to toss some cooked ramen in the drippings and we ate every darn bit!!! And the options of cooking time was great, I like my meat kind of still mooing, him not so much red. Thanks!!
Yay, Lilly! And love the idea of serving these with ramen!
As a PSA–Remember the skillet handle remains blistering hot long after it’s pulled from the oven!! Yes, I’m speaking from experience!!
Yep, I’ve done this more than once!!!
Great receipt and instructions. The oven portion was an interesting idea and it worked. Tender and perfectly cooked. Best I have ever cooked. Thank you
So glad you tried it and had great success!
This simple and clear set of instructions has given us filets as good as we’ve ever had. Thank you so much!
Awesome, Brian! So glad to hear it!
Very good and useful article. I found a lot of good tips in it, I want to try it for a new recipe. thank you very much
I hope you love it!
Thank you for this info. I’m cooking filet mignon for the 1st time. We like well done and usually have it butterfly. Do you have any suggestions?
I have never cooked mine to the point of being well done (and also have never butterflied a steak). If it’s butterflied then you can see the inside, correct? If so I would just use visual cues until it’s cooked to your preference.
Just tried your method and it worked perfectly. I cooked the best filet mingnon’s for dinner tonight. Thank you for posting this. Nothing better than a perfect filet on a cold winter night.
Ooooh that sounds like the best cozy stay at home situation! So glad you tried it, Katey!
Our #32 anniversary is today but already have dinner plans followed by a hockey game! So….will be making our fillets tomorrow night instead!
Yay for two date nights! Enjoy and Happy Anniversary!
I am making 6 filets that are 6 to 8 ounces each. Do I need to add extra time on the stovetop or in the oven?
Hi Robbin. This would mainly depend on how big your pan is. If you have a large pan and your filets have plenty of space around them, the cooking times should be close to the same…maybe a minute longer at most. But if the filets are very crowded, it could take longer to cook them.
I love this! Haven’t had a bad filet mignon since! However, I am cooking 2 8oz American Waygu tenderloins this evening. Do I have to adapt this recipe at all?
Hi Mary. So glad you’ve have lots of success with this recipe. I don’t have any idea if it would be different with the Waygu tenderloins. Did you end up trying it?
What should the heating instructions be for fan assisted ovens
I haven’t tested this recipe in that way, so I can’t say for sure.