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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620 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.

    • For the problem of smoke, use avocado oil. You can heat it as hot as you want it and it doesn’t smoke and the taste is good.  After they are done and resting you can put a pat of butter on them.

  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!

    • Glad that worked out! Yay! Thanks for sharing!

    • You answered my question. Thanks.

    • Did you pre-heat the cookie sheet or transfer steaks to cold sheet and oil?

    • Hi, I am planning on trying this for Valentine’s Day. I do not have a skillet than can go in the oven either. Just want to make sure I understand the cookie sheet option. Cover the cookie sheet with foil and heat it in the oven at temp recommended in original directions? Do you also heat the olive oil as well? Or transfer any of the juices from skillet to the oven? Thanks! 

  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.

  14. What if the filet is more like one inch thick? Reduce temp? Cooking time? Both?

  15. Great recipe! Thanks very Much!

  16. I have always used cast iron skillets and this recipe is my “go to”! I’ve been using it for a long time! Thanks a bunch! And please, cooks remember to take it out of the pan when it comes out of the oven. If you don’t, or if you like the interior of your meat to be gray, then leave it in. Your choice! What you do in the pan after the steak has been removed is up to you. I generally do a little smashed garlic, sliced mushrooms and a splash of red wine (maybe more than a splash), back in the oven and spoon over the steak when it has rested.

    • You are so right, Mike! Can’t let it sit in the pan or it will get overcooked. Always a good reminder! So glad this has been your “go-to” recipe. And an extra splash of red wine is always welcome! 🙂

  17. Tried this recipe for my wife’s birthday dinner and it was amazing!!!!

  18. I have never cooked a steak any other way than oven broiling or on the grill. I have used this recipe twice now and I don’t think I’ll ever cook a steak any other way again. Both times, it turned out to be the best I’ve ever cooked – Juicy and tender and delicious!!

  19. I just needed to tell you that I just cooked the PERFECT medium rare filet thanks to you! This is how I’ll always cook my filets now. Thank you so much! 

  20. This is also my signature dish. So easy and my guests are always amazed on how good the meat tastes. I have been using a cast iron Dutch oven. While cooking on the stove!! top, doesn’t splatter and then just stick it in the oven. Foolproof.   Thanks for a great and precise recipe! 

  21. Great recipe and instructions, thank you so much. I followed all of your excellent steps; I preheated my oven (I have not used it in a long, long time), put two 8 oz. filet mignon steaks in a cast iron skillet, they were doing well, all of a sudden our newly installed smoke detector went off, I immediately turned the oven off. My friend stood on a stool hitting the button every time it went off for about 15 min. I finished cooking the steaks in the skillet, 4 minutes on each side at a time for a total of 24 minutes. Then set them aside under foil for 5-7 minutes. When I lifted the foil off they were picture perfect with some au jus too. They were perfect!

  22. Liz. I’ve been using this recipe for many years. And following you on twitter. My big substitute is to use butter instead of olive oil. Yum! 
    Gerry Smith

  23. Just made this and it came out excellent. Splurged on farmers market steak and something about the literal-ness of the recipe made me think it was the right one. Will pass it along. If you have tips for other cuts, I’m all ears. Only touch I added was letting the steak rest after, and while doing so, pouring a bit of red wine, adding a touch of butter, and scratching out all the burnt bits in the pan and letting everything simmer a few mins and then pouring it on.

  24. I love you. Thanks

  25. Recipe sounds perfect and can’t wait to try it.
    One question….. any suggestions on how to make for 15 people? I imagine a filet mignon roast but after reading this recipe I rather cook individuals….. but how could I do it all at once? Or do you suggest the roast?

    • Hi Laura. Unfortunately I’m not much help here. I’ve never cooked filet mignon for that many people and I’m not sure what a filet mignon roast is. Do you mean beef tenderloin? The naming of cuts of beef can be confusing! I would probably try and find a recipe for cooking beef tenderloin, if it was me.

    • Hi Laura,
      Get a whole filet (4-5pounds). Have your butcher trim and tie it. Take out of fridge one hour before cook time. Slather it in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temperature. Generously coat with coarsly ground pepper and salt. Preheat oven to 500. Roast on baking sheet for 22-25 minutes for medium rare (135 degrees). Remove from oven and Cover tightly w foil. Allow to rest 20 minutes. Slice thick. Serve w your favorite horseradish sauce or Gorgonzola sauce. Fool proof. Crowd pleaser. 

  26. I was very nervous about cooking the expensive steaks but I followed your recipe and they turned out perfectly.

  27. I made this tonight and it was awesome! I used butter instead of Olive Oil to sauté them. Also, because I didn’t have an oven safe pan to transfer from the stove top, I used the recommendation from another person here and transferred the steaks directly from my skillet onto a prewarmed cookie sheet and then finished cooking them the way this recipe directs. I also prefer a medium well steak so I think next time I will cook them for 10 minutes in the oven. 

  28. ‘“It was better than Morton’s!”….”You should cook this more often.”

    Thank you Liz for this recipe.  I followed to the letter. My 14 year old has become a steak connosieur of sorts, having dined a few times, at some of the finer Steak Houses…lol. She absolutely LOVED her filet mignon, prepard using your recipe.  I was truly nervous since she’s a true critic and rarely likes the food that I prepare for her!  A million thank you’s.  This recipe is a keeper!!!!

  29. My husband does not like filet but loved this. He especially made a comment about the perfect char on the steak and said it was very flavorable. I use Bosari seasoned salt.   Just make sure you heat the pan on medium high and not high. 

  30. I just tried this with ONE filet for myself, and I have to tell you, I’ll never cook it any other way!!! It was perfection and I ate it way too fast because it was perfect and delicious! Thank you thank you thank you! P.S. I used avocado oil just because I like it. 👍🏼👌🏼

  31. I LOVE THIS RECIPE! Thank you so much. I am always extra excited for steak nights now. Quick question – Do you think if I were to cook 4 at a time, would they all be ok in the same pan?

    • Hi! I think 4 filets in one large skillet would work fine. As long as they have a little space around them for steam to escape.

  32. Recipe was spot on and delicious. First time cooking a filet Mignon and I was pleasantly surprised! Thanks!!

  33. Hi. This is a lovely way to cook fliet. I agree about no fancy sauces etc. My question is I came across this because I’m considering cooking fliet mignon for Christmas dinner. Do you have a tried and true for a full filet versus individual filets? I have about 10 people. Thanks !

    • Hi Liz. Mmm…that sounds lovely. Unfortunately I don’t think I can be of much assistance with your question. I don’t have any thoroughly vetted advice for cooking a chateaubriand. I always just cook individual filets.

  34. I can’t use the oven while I’m sautéing or I’ll blow a fuse. I live in a badly wired converted garage. What workaround would you recommend 

    • Hi Brenda, sorry I don’t have a helpful suggestion for you. Maybe after searing the filets you can try lowering the heat and cooking them entirely on the stovetop. But you would have to watch very carefully that the outside doesn’t burn.

  35. I bought grass fed beef filets and used bacon grease instead of olive oil and applewood seasoned salt and a mix of fresh crushed coarse red pepper and black pepper. I used a new copper pan I got for my birthday.

    I made it for my boyfriend’s birthday tonight and he said it was better than a restaurant. He asked for it again for Chistmas!

    Thank you for this recipe as it proves technique is just as important as ingredients!

  36. I AM GOING TO COOK MIGNON FOR FIRST TIME . I AM 82. I HAVE ONE OF THE 4 INCH SIDED COPPER PANS THAT GO IN OVEN ALSO. IS THIS COPPER PAN ALRIGHT ? I AM COOKING 5 INDIVIDUAL STEAKS AND THERE IS PLENTY OF ROOM FOR EVEN SIX. HAVE TO COOK FROM MEDIUM RARE TO REALLY NO PINK WHAT SO EVER ! SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO DO THAT??

    • Hi Sharon! The copper pan should work fine. I think others have used copper pans with success with this recipe. In regards to needing different levels of done-ness, you’ll have to remove filets from the oven at different times to achieve this. The time suggestions in the post should help you to gauge this.

  37. Im bringing these steaks over to my daughter’s house for Christmas, but plan on cooking them at my house. Is there a good way if keeping them warm for about 15 minutes? Or maybe saute them at home and bake them at her house only. Problem is she’s using the stove also.

    • You could try wrapping them well in foil for transport. And I would suggest undercooking them slightly, so when you re-warm them at your daughters house they won’t end up becoming overcooked.

  38. I have seen similar recipes; I have tweaked them a bit to suit my cooking arrangements. first, I prefer extra virgin as a dipping sauce only, it is too bold. grapeseed, avocado, or mild canola work better for high heat. I do NOT put oil in the pan, but after using kosher (sea) salt, dip the filets in oil, then transfer to a dry, hot iron skillet. high heat.. don’t be scared! 2 min per side, then in a 450-500° oven for a few minutes. also, I add black pepper AFTER cooking, since high heat makes it taste acrid. serve with crusty bread, add color to the plate with steamed carrots, or yellow potatoes in a garlic cream sauce. guten appetit!

  39. I am cooking about a dozen filets for our family Christmas dinner and the filets are 1 1/2″ cuts. What would be the adjustments to the cooking times since this reads for 2″ cuts? Thank you!

    • Hi Brian. Are you cooking these all in the same pan? I would normally recommend reducing the cooking time slightly (just by 1-2 minutes, probably), but if you’re cooking these all together in one pan there could be an issue with overcrowding?

      • I do not have a pan large enough for all so I will probably use multiple pans for searing and 2 preheated sheet pans for the oven. Will that work? And I’ll pay very close attention to the times.

      • I think that sounds like a good game plan, Brian. I know others have used pre-heated sheet pans and had success (I think if you search the comments thread you might find some tips?). Good luck!

  40. Tried this twice  perfect both times.  I’ll throw out all other recipes. Glad you posted this.  🍻. All my Australian friends love it

  41. First, I don’t cook. The thought of cooking a filet mignon for Christmas Eve was terrifying! I followed your recipe and the steaks came out perfect!! I can’t wait to cook them again.

    Thanks.

  42. Any experience with coconut oil instead of olive oil.? Can hardly wait for dinner tonight. Thanks and merry merry.

  43. A little less than success. I think timing might better be given to thickness of filets vice weight. I had two 8+ oz filets 2+” did 4, 7 & 7. Rare & cool, not medium. Also, I have always wondered about letting meat rest or tenting. Doesn’t that contribute to a tepid piece of meat?

    • Thanks for the feedback, CJ. Given that your steaks are larger in weight and thickness then what the recipe is written for, I’m not surprised that they would take longer to cook.

  44. This worked so well! Thank you!

  45. I have always grilled my steak. But have heard that cooking them on a flat top is better. I decided to try this recipe because of all the great reviews. Good news, they were great tasting steaks. I cooked ours rare (5 minutes in the oven) and they were perfectly rare, yet warm. And the flavor did the expensive steaks justice. I was disappointed in the searing though. Because of the reviews of smoke, I had got it in my head that the steaks needed to be seared very hot. So I looked up the smoke point of oils: https://jonbarron.org/diet-and-nutrition/healthiest-cooking-oil-chart-smoke-points. On finding ghee had such a high smoke point, and the excellent comment above I looked into what ghee was and found this great post https://thepioneerwoman.com/food-and-friends/how-to-make-ghee/. I made ghee. I turned my cast iron dutch oven to 8 out of 10 on my electric stove. The ghee was just starting to smoke. I laid the filets in the pan, and set the timer, it was then that I had doubts about the temperature and read it should be moderate. I turned the pan down to 6. At the end of the 4 minutes, I turned the steaks, and left them on the heat as I peppered them, then put them in the oven. Upon serving was my slight disappointment, the bottom of the steaks were gray, not a nice dark brown like the first side. Because of the wonderful flavor, I will try this again, but will keep the pan at 8, sear the second side for 4 minutes, then put in the oven.

    • Thanks for the feedback, James. I have no used ghee in this recipe before so not sure if that’s why you experienced a less than perfect sear on the second side?

  46. Impulsively, I bought two filet mignons for my wife’s 66th birthday today. A Google search for a recipe led me to yours. It guided me and I followed your temperatire and time precisely though I strayed slightly with oil, seasoning and cookware. I barely salted hers because she has high blood pressure. I marked my salted filet with a toothpick inserted sideways. I added two drops of Tabasco sauce per side to make up for the salt and massaged it in. I used a cast iron pan for oven safeness. I barely salted hers because she has high blood pressure. I marked my salted filet with a toothpick inserted sideways. I used avocado oil because I dislike the aroma of very hot olive oil. I left it in the hot pan for exactly 4 minutes like you said. I then flipped them and put the pan in the oven for exactly six minutes, and then put it on a plate and tented it with aluminum foil. I quickly sauteed some oyster mushooms and sliced brown mushrooms in the pan juices with a generous splash of a blended red wine. I called my wife to the table for a salad of yellow and red heirloom tomatoes, marinated cucumber, capers, green onions and Calamata olives. The filets were resting.

    When I served the filets with some baby potatoes steamed with herbs, the first couple of bites of an edge piece were unimpressive. But as I carved into the heart of the filet, it only got better and better. Charred perfectly on the outside and delightfully medium rare and tender on the inside. I dunked each tender thin slice into the pan juices with a tiny dab of a golden barbecue sauce. Absolutely delightful. My wife loved it too.

  47. My husband made this last night with black pepper, Szechuan peppercorns and kosher salt in a cast iron skillet.
    Our filets were only 1.25″, so we cut back on oven time, just perfect.
    Thanks for great instructions!

  48. I typically cook a filet on the grill, and I do get good results, but I wanted to try this method.  OMG…it was the best filet I have ever made!  I don’t think I will ever go back to the grill for a filet.  This method gives you a little more control.  My filet happened to be the same at 8oz, and almost 2” thick.  I followed the directions to a “T”, letting stay in the oven for 7 minutes, and I got a PERFECT medium!  It was so tender and juicy…I’m drooling as I write this review!  So flavorful, even though I just used salt and pepper.  Get a good quality filet, and follow this recipe, you will not be disappointed!!

  49. My particular cut of about 2.5 inches was really good…however cuts come in different thicknesses. I felt lucky. Your recipe should speak to this variable in my opinion, no?

    • I’m glad your filet came out great. In the future, if you have a thicker or thinner cut of meat, you can adjust the cooking times accordingly to account for that. I can only speak to the variables under which I have experience making the actual recipe.

  50. Thank you so much,this worked perfectly to cook sirloin center cut filet.I cooked them to a perfect med.after searing and finishing in the oven for ten mins.,just like butter and so much flavor!!!

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