Any steak enthusiast will have at least a list of their top 5 steaks.
When these steak enthusiasts get together with other steak lovers, they divulge the lists, and debates like the filet mignon vs. sirloin are born.
Most of these debates are focused on figuring out which cut of steak is better, and the filet mignon vs. sirloin steak debate is no different.
Nonetheless, to understand whether sirloin or filet mignon is better, you must understand each cut in depth.
What Is Filet Mignon?
Without question, the filet mignon is the most tender cut of steak on the planet. This is why filet mignon is so famous.
Filet mignon comes from the tenderloin. The tenderloin comes from the short loin, which is snuggled underneath the spine.
Although filet mignon is famous for its tender profile, it can be shocking for steak enthusiasts who prefer a chewier bite.
However, you can offset the tender bite by grilling it on a kamado grill or any grill that uses charcoal as fuel.
If you’ve ever looked at the meat in the display case at your local grocery store, you may have seen some steaks labeled as tenderloin steaks and others labeled as filet mignon.
Steak names can be very confusing, especially if you don’t know the difference between these two steaks.
Any steak that is carved from the tenderloin can be labeled a tenderloin steak.
In contrast, only steaks cut from the smaller, rounded tail of the tenderloin can be called fillet mignon.
What Is Sirloin?
Sirloin does not refer to one single cut of beef. It is more of a blanket statement that applies to several cuts of beef fabricated from the back portion of the loin primal.
Since sirloin is located in an area that the animal uses regularly, it is lean and can be tough in some instances.
However, don’t count sirloin out because it certainly has a beautiful flavor.
The top sirloin is fabricated from the upper portion of the sirloin butt.
Although this may seem insignificant, the top sirloins are as tender as it gets.
Other cuts on the sirloin butt are much tougher and require hours of cooking.
Moreover, sirloin is rich in protein. Sirloin also has a firmer bite, so it is so popular among folks who believe its counterpart has an overly soft bite.
Filet Mignon vs Sirloin
Well, let’s get to it. Although filet mignon and steak sirloin are two cuts of beef, they are very different.
Let’s compare these cuts of steak to see which one comes out on top.
As you may have gathered from the information, these two cuts of beef are located in different locations on the steer.
Even though it seems trivial, the location of these two cuts of beef is one of the primary differences between these two cuts.
Filet mignon comes from the end of the tenderloin muscle known as the psoas major.
In other words, the tenderloin is the meat carved from the space between the sirloin and the top loin.
In contrast, sirloin is cut from the upper portion of the back near the round primal.
Both sirloin and filet mignon are relatively lean cuts of beef. Nevertheless, there are some differences between sirloin and filet mignon when it comes to their fat profile.
Tenderloin has less fat than sirloin. On the other hand, sirloin has a fat cap.
While it does not have a thick extensive layer of fat like brisket, sirloin is definitely the fattier cut of beef.
Tender is in the name tender, so this cut of beef must be tender.
The tenderness comes from the fact that the tenderloin is the least used muscle on the cow.
This fragile cut of beef is the most tender cut on the animal, making it the most famous cut of steak in the world.
In contrast, the sirloin muscle is a well-worked muscle that is much tougher. Therefore, the filet mignon wins the texture category.
When it comes to steaks, the flavor is pretty essential. Unfortunately, some people believe that every steak is tender.
However, these people are in for a rude awakening because every cut of steak is different.
Nevertheless, if each steak is cooked correctly, it will still be a flavorful meal.
That being said, every seasoned steak expert is familiar with tenderloin.
Yes, it is tender and lean, but sirloin still wins in the flavor category.
Tenderloin doesn’t have much beefy flavor. Tenderloin needs seasoning to bring out and enhance its natural flavor.
In contrast, sirloin has a little marbling and is coated in a layer of fat.
When this fat melts, it gives the sirloin its robust beefy flavor and a moist and juicy texture.
Furthermore, sirloin absorbs marinades and seasoning better, adding more flavor to the steak.
Filet mignon is pretty rare. There are about 500 grams of tenderloin per cow, which is just shy of 1 pound.
Furthermore, the filet mignon is more expensive than the sirloin since it is tender.
Filet mignon costs about $20-$25-per pound. In contrast, since sirloin is much tougher, it is much cheaper than filet mignon.
Sirloin steaks can cost $7.99-$10.99 per pound.
Unfortunately, filet mignon is low in fat. When it comes to cooking methods, this can pose an issue since filet mignon is prone to drying out.
Therefore, it’s best to cook filet mignon to medium-rare.
You can also get away with cooking filet mignon to medium. However, a well-done filet mignon is out of the question.
You will literally ruin the meat because it will dry out and develop a tough texture.
When cooking tenderloin, it’s best to baste it with butter to make up for the lack of fat.
In contrast, sirloin steaks are easier to cook as they are much more forgiving.
Although sirloin is not as tender, it can become a tender cut of beef when it is cooked to medium or medium-rare.
Both filet mignon and sirloin can be seared in a cast-iron skillet or grilled at medium-high heat on a natural gas grill.
Nevertheless, always cook both steak cuts to an internal temperature of 145°F.
When it comes to nutrition, most people automatically go with filet mignon. After all, it does have less fat than sirloin.
However, the nutritional differences between filet mignon are so similar that their calorie profiles are nearly identical.
A 3-ounce serving of filet mignon has 179 calories. In contrast, a 3-ounce serving of sirloin contains 180 calories, just one calorie more than filet mignon.
Furthermore, both filet mignon and sirloin do pretty well in the protein department.
A 3-ounce serving of filet mignon contains 26 grams of protein, while a 3-ounce serving of sirloin has 25 grams of protein.
As you can see, both cuts are top-quality sources of protein, but filet mignon is slightly better since it contains an additional gram of protein.
When it comes to fat and cholesterol, both cuts are incredibly similar. For example, even though filet mignon has less fat, it has a slightly higher cholesterol content.
Filet mignon also has 3 grams of saturated fat, 7.5 grams of overall fat, and 79 milligrams of cholesterol in each 3-ounce serving.
On the other hand, sirloin has 8 grams of overall fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, and 3 grams of saturated fat.
So, it is slightly better than fillet mignon when it comes to fat and cholesterol content.
How To Cook Sirloin
To cook sirloin steak, pat it dry, then drizzle it with olive oil. Season your sirloin steaks with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Place a skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet.
Once the skillet is scorching hot, add the sirloin steaks to the skillet, and cook them for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Baste the sirloin steaks with the juices and fat that renders in the pan you are cooking them in.
Flip the sirloin 1-2 minutes until it has a temperature of 135°F.
Remove the sirloin steaks from the skillet, place them onto a plate, and let them rest for 5-10 minutes.
Slice the sirloin steak against the grain before serving it.
How To Cook Filet Mignon
Turn your oven to 400°F. Put 1-2 tablespoons of oil into a skillet and set it over medium-high heat.
Season the filet mignon steaks with salt and pepper. When it comes to seasoning tenderloin steaks, it’s best to stick with salt and pepper.
Spice or BBQ rubs can easily overpower the flavor of the fillet mignon.
You can always enhance the flavor of filet mignon by basting it in butter or a flavorful sauce.
Place the filet mignon steaks into the skillet and cook them for 5 minutes.
Turn the filet mignon over and add 1-2 tablespoons of butter or rosemary to the steaks.
Cook the filet mignon for an additional 3-5 minutes.
Place the filet mignon into the oven and cook it for 5 minutes until it has a temperature of 130°F.
Remove the filet mignon steak from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing it.
The final temperature should have a temperature of 140°F-150°F for a perfect medium filet mignon.
The debate between filet mignon and sirloin is difficult because both steaks are so delicious. However, the truth is there is no winner here. Both filet mignon and sirloin are delicious and flavorful in their own way.
You might also be interested in the following comparisons:
- Porterhouse Vs. Ribeye
- Sirloin Vs. Ribeye
- Tomahawk Steak Vs. Ribeye
- Porterhouse Vs. T Bone
- Filet Mignon Vs. Ribeye
- Prime Rib Vs. Ribeye
- Tenderloin Vs Filet Mignon
- Sirloin Vs. Tenderloin
- New York Strip Vs. Ribeye
- T-Bone Vs. Ribeye Steak
- New York Strip Vs. Sirloin
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.