Filet Mignon Vs Ribeye – Which is Better?

Filet Mignon

There are not many steaks that can compare to the flavor and tenderness of filet mignon and ribeye. Filet mignon is popular because it is the most tender cut of beef.

If you are lucky enough to indulge in the filet mignon, you will find yourself cooking or ordering it more and more just so you can have a taste of this tender delight.

In contrast, the ribeye is the creme de la creme of the steak flavor. If you look up beefy flavor in the steak dictionary, you would see ribeye steak next to it.

Nevertheless, both filet mignon and ribeye are different cuts of beef. However, that does not stop people from pitting these two cuts against each other. But before we compare these cuts, let’s discuss each cut in depth.

What Is Filet Mignon?

Filet mignon is a cut of steak that’s fabricated from the loin primal. The tenderloin is a muscle that’s hardly used. This prevents the connective tissue from forming and becoming tough.

The term filet mignon is of French origin. It translates to a dainty thick slice. This is because the filet mignon is 1-2 inches in thickness and 1-3 inches in width. 

Filet mignon is naturally round because they are carved from tube-like ends of the tenderloin muscles. Filet mignon is usually trimmed off all its fat to create a tender cut of steak. Additionally, filet mignon is significantly smaller than T-bone and ribeye steaks.

Even though the filet mignon is known for its tenderness, it still has a distinctive flavor.

How To Cook Filet Mignon

You can cook filet mignon in several ways. For example, it can be served on its own, or you can sauté it in butter to enhance its mild flavor. You can also wrap the filet mignon with bacon or season it with a special rub before cooking it.

The most common cooking method for filet mignon is searing it first in a skillet, then finishing it off in the microwave. You can also fire up your kamado grill and grill filet mignon. However, you can also roast, fry, bake, and broil filet mignon.

I personally love to sear filet mignon and finish it in the oven. To cook your filet mignon, remove the steak from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

This will allow the filet mignon to come to room temperature and ensure the steak cooks evenly. If you add cold steaks to the skillet, they will cook unevenly. The outside of the steak will cook before the interior of a steak resulting in a charred steak exterior and undercooked inside.

Next, turn your oven to 350°F. Place a teaspoon of olive oil into a cast-iron skillet and set it over medium-high.

Once the oil is scorching hot, add the steaks to the skillet. Do not overcrowd the pan. If you add too many filet mignons to the cast-iron skillet, they will steam inside, developing a beautiful crust.

Sear the filet mignon for 3 minutes per side until a crispy rich brown crust forms.

Move the fillet mignon to the oven. Bake the filet mignon for 6-8 minutes until the steak reaches your desired temperature.

Make sure you use a thermometer to monitor your steak’s temperature. It’s best to cook the filet mignon to medium-rare. However, if you prefer blue rare steak, medium well steak, or well-done steak, it is totally fine.

Let the filet mignon rest for 8 minutes before you carve it and serve it. Letting the steak rest gives the juices time to redistribute into the meat. If you slice into your fillet mignon right after you take it off the stove, the juices will leak onto your butcher block resulting in a tough, chewy, dry steak.

What Is Ribeye Steak?

Ribeye is also a tender cut of steak. It is coveted for its robust, rich, savory flavor with high levels of fat.

Ribeyes are carved from the cut of beef known as the primal beef rib. It’s the same region prime rib is carved from.

Because of its location, a lot of intramuscular fat accumulates, which creates distinct marbling. While ribeye cooks, the marbling or intramuscular fat renders creating a juicy, tender steak.

Ribeye steaks are sold bone-in or boneless. However, boneless ribeye steaks are much easier to cook. Nevertheless, bone-in ribeye steaks are insulated by their bone which helps preserve more moisture.

How To Cook Ribeye Steak

Like filet mignon, ribeye steaks are best cooked to medium-rare. The most common way to cook ribeye steaks is by searing them in a skillet. However, you can also grill them on your natural gas grill or reverse sear them.

To sear your ribeye steaks in a cast-iron skillet, remove them from the fridge. Season the ribeye steak with salt and black pepper and let it sit for 30 minutes until it comes to room temperature.

Add a teaspoon of oil to the cast-iron skillet. You do not need much oil to cook the ribeye steak since it is so fatty. You only need a little oil so the steak does not stick to the skillet.

Place the skillet over medium-high heat. Once it is scorching hot, add the ribeye steak and sear it for 4 minutes.

Flip the ribeye over and cook it for an additional 3 minutes. You can baste the ribeye steak with butter, garlic, and herbs if desired to intensify its succulent flavor. Remove the ribeye steak from the skillet and let it sit for 5 minutes before carving and serving it.

Filet Mignon Vs Ribeye

Filet mignon and ribeye steaks are like night and day: on different sides of the spectrum. The only similarity between these 2 steaks is that they are both tender, delicious cuts of beef.

Cut

The primary difference between these 2 steak cuts is their position on the animal. Ribeye steaks originate from the cow’s rib cage. Specifically, ribeye steaks are cut from rows 6-12 of the animal’s rib cage.

In contrast, fillet mignon is fabricated from the tenderloin. The tenderloin spans through the short loin, sirloin, and parts of the loin primal.

Texture

Both filet mignon and ribeye steaks have tender textures, which makes them super popular. However, filet mignon is more tender than ribeye steaks. 

This is because the region the filet mignon originates from is barely used by the animal. This prevents the cut from becoming tough since it is not used to hold the animal up or help it move around.

Flavor

Even though filet mignon is small in stature, it is very thick. Filet mignon has a mild flavor because it has a low-fat content.

Even the smallest fillet mignon has a minuscule amount of fat. This is why filet mignon is accompanied with a rich sauce or sauteed in butter to boost the steak’s flavor. 

In contrast, ribeye steak contains more intramuscular fat, which gives the steak its succulent, beefy flavor. Ribeye steaks contain as much as 50 grams of fat, which makes them juicy and succulent. Ribeye steaks are usually served without a sauce and are seasoned with salt and pepper to enhance their flavor.

Portion Size

Wondering how much meat per person is natural, and steak is no different. Ribeye steak has approximately 190 calories for every 4-ounce serving. Additionally, depending on the side dishes you ordered or cooked, such as a baked potato, green beans, or a salad, 4 ounces of ribeye steak should be sufficient for 1 adult. 

On the other hand, filet mignon has fewer calories. Each 4-ounce serving of filet mignon has about 170 calories.

Therefore 6-8 ounces of filet mignon should be sufficient for each adult. You can always cut the steak into small or large pieces and serve them with filling sides such as rice, potatoes, or pasta.

Price

When it comes to the price, both filet mignon and ribeye are costly. However, the filet mignon is by far more expensive than its counterparts.

The price is associated with the rareness of the tenderloin, as well as its tenderness. In addition to this, because fillet mignon is so rare, it is in high demand. Therefore, filet mignon is more expensive than ribeye steak. 

Which Is Better, Filet Mignon or Ribeye

It’s nearly impossible to tell which steak is better. The truth is you just can’t go wrong with either steak.

On the one hand, ribeye steak is tender, with a bold, juicy, beefy flavor. On the other hand, filet mignon is the most tender steak you will ever taste.

If you are concerned with the size and price, ribeye steak is best. In contrast, if you want a steak with a mild flavor that is tender beyond belief, the filet mignon is better.

Final Thoughts

The ribeye vs. filet mignon showdown is a tough battle. Both cuts of steak are popular heavyweights in the steak world.

As for which cut of steak is best, I recommend trying both ribeye and fillet mignon to make the right choice. Plus, you get to indulge in two delicious, amazing steaks.

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