Raising the Steaks: Filet Mignon vs New York Strip

August 22, 2022

The main differences in filet mignon vs New York strip include size, texture, taste, fat content, and more!

Training as a chef, I had to learn all the different cuts of steak. So, for all the steak lovers out there, I am going to break down how these popular steak cuts are different from each other! Let's begin!

filet mignon vs new york strip

What is Filet Mignon?

Filet mignon is taken from the middle of the tenderloin section of the cow, near the short loin. This meat is known for being an incredibly tender cut that is also quite expensive. You can also find a long bone filet or bone in filet mignon.

grilling a new York Strip

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What is New York Strip Steak?

The New York strip steak comes from the short loin muscle. It can be cut with or without the bone in. This steak is actually one half of a T bone steak. On the other end you have the tenderloin.

New York strip steaks are often known by other names - these include Kansas city strip, Omaha strip, ambassador steak, veiny steak, and shell steak. They can be though of as a boneless club steak as well.

What are the Differences Between Filet Mignon and New York Strip Steak?

Let's break down the top variations of between these meat cuts:

Location of the Cuts

The positioning of the filet mignon can be a little tricky to understand. The filet mignon is taken from the beef tenderloin which is found inside the loin. However, the tenderloin does extend from the short loin into the sirloin.

The filet mignon is found at the very tip of the pointed end of the tenderloin. As such, this teak is technically situated in the short loin as well.

Then there is the New York strip - as mentioned, this comes from the short loin. This area is known for some great steaks such as the T bone and the Porterhouse steak. However, the bone in filet - the New York strip is taken from the section that is closer to the rib.

To be more precise, the New York strip comes from the longissimus dorsi muscle of the cow.

The Size

In general filet mignons are a bit bigger than a New York strip steak. An 8 ounce steak cut will be around 1 to 2 inches thick and about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. In comparison, a New York strip steak will be around 7/8th of an inch thick.

The Texture

This is something that most people are aware of. The reason that the filet mignon is one of the most popular cuts of steak around is due to its texture. It is incredibly tender. When cooked just right, you can actually cut through it with a knife.

The reason behind this is because the filet mignon is taken from the tenderloin. This is a muscle that gets little to no exercise. This makes for softer meat, particularly when cooked.

slice of raw steak

This isn't to say that New York strip steaks aren't tender - they certainly are. When prepared the right way, they become soft and juicy. However, they are taken from a muscle that gets more of a workout. As a result, there is a slight chewiness to the meat. You don't find this with the filet mignon.

The Flavor

When it comes to taste, the only steak cut that beats out the New York strip steak in terms of flavor is the ribeye steak. The NY strip steak has a rather intense flavor that is has strong beefy notes. In any case, it is certainly boasts a beefier flavor than the filet mignon.

Cooking the New York strip steak only makes it taste better. This is due to the fat and marbling on the steak. When this cooks down, it adds succulence to the cut.

Filet mignon has a far more milder taste, some define it as being sweet and buttery. While it is certainly pleasant, it doesn't have a strong beef flavor to it. The filet mignon is typically prized for its texture rather than its taste.

Fat Content

As I have already stated, the the New York strip steak has a decent amount of fat marbling in it. This is what makes it such a tasty cut and helps to cook down to a juicier steak too. That being said, it is far from the fattiest steak cut around.

Now, the fat content on the filet mignon can depend on how the steak is trimmed. For the most part, though, this cut has very little visible fat. In fact, as far as healthiness goes, this is one of the healthier steaks out there. As such, it is a little better to indulge in than the New York strip steak.

Cooking Methods

As they have different taste and composition, the New York strip steak and filet mignon are cooked rather differently.

With the New York strip steak, you want to keep the seasoning simple - usually only kosher salt and pepper. This is because you want the natural flavors of the steak to shine through.

The filet mignon needs a bit more help in the flavor department, though. While it isn't overly seasoned, you will typically find this steak served with a compound butter or sauce.

raw meat on a chopping board

The New York strip steak is usually cooked in a cast iron skilled. While it can be seared in the beginning, it is cooked at a slightly lower temperature the rest of the time.

As for the filet mignon, you start off by searing it in a pan at a very high heat. Once each of the sides are browned, it is transferred to an oven and finished there.

The Cost

This is certainly not going to be a surprise for anyone. The filet mignon is known as being one of the costlier cuts of meat. However, much will it actually run you? Depending on where you source it from, you may end up paying as much as $30 to $45 per pound.

A New York strip steak can cost half as much! Once again, depending on where you get it from, you can pay about $12 to $15 per pound.

Thus, if you are looking for a steak to eat at a regular old dinner, the New York strip should be your first choice. In case you want to get fancy or having a special dinner, then you can splurge on the filet mignon.

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Filet Mignon vs New York Strip - Is One Better Than the Other?

Even if you know very little about steaks, you will have likely heard about the much sought after filet mignon. It is also the far more expensive and rare option. When you combine these facts together, it is only natural to imagine that the filet mignon is superior to the New York strip.

However, this isn't the case at all! Instead, it depends on what you are looking for with your steak. Are you all about that buttery texture and mild flavor? In this case, the filet mignon will fit the bill. It is also great if you are looking for a slightly healthier steak, too.

On the other hand, if you want a lovely beefy flavor and a tender cut of meat, then the New York strip steak will serve you well.

It is due to this that I am hesitant to declare a winner - it is far better to decide which of these are the right cuts for you.

How to Cook a Filet Mignon?

Take the steak out of the refrigerator half an hour before cooking. Season both sides with kosher salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 415 degrees F.

Add a pat of butter to a cast iron skillet and turn the heat onto high. Wait until the pan is scorching hot and then add the filet mignon. Let it sear on one side for two minutes undisturbed. Then, flip and let the steak sit for 2 minutes.

bbq steak

Carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Take out of the oven when the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees for rare or 135 degrees for medium rare. This can take between 4 and 6 minutes respectively.

Never cook the steak more than this or you will risk compromising the texture of the steak.

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving the filet mignon with a pat of herb butter.

As mentioned, it is always best to serve the filet mignon with a sauce, compound butter, or some other flavoring to boost the natural flavors of the steak.

How to Cook a New York Strip?

Take the steaks out of the refrigerator a half an hour before cooking. Season liberally with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Heat a cast iron skillet to high heat and add some olive oil. When the pan is searing, add the New York strip steaks to it. Sear and brown on one side for two minutes. Then, flip over and repeat the process.

Turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook until the internal temperature registers to 135 degrees for medium rare.

It is best not to cook a New York strip beyond medium rare if you hope to preserve both flavor and texture.

When cooking the New York strip on a lower heat, you can also add butter and herbs like rosemary and thyme. You can baste the steak with these ingredients until it reaches your desired internal temperature.

Or, if you want the natural flavors of the steak to shine through, you can simply only season with salt and pepper.

Once you take the steaks off the heat, let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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Wrapping It Up

There you have it - a detailed comparison between two of the most popular steaks around! Now that you know what's really going on with these cuts, you may be able to decide if one is better than the other for you.

At the very least, by the end of this post, you can consider yourself a pro about these steaks. Not to mention, you now know how to cook up your very own cuts too. Just remember that regardless of which steak that you choose, always select a good butcher who will provide you with high quality steaks each and every time.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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