Filet mignon is different from ribeye in terms of texture, flavor, cost, cooking method, and more!
As a professional chef, I had to learn the intricate details for each kind of steak. Thanks to this education and training, I was also able to understand how each cut differed from one another. Now, I can share this knowledge with steak lovers like you.
In this post I will discuss the details of filet mignon vs. ribeye steak and teach you how to prepare each option as well. Let’s get started!
Filet mignon steaks are taken from the tenderloin muscles in the cow, which is also known as the short loin. In French, the name filet means strip and mignon means pretty and small.
The tenderloin muscle is not weight bearing which means that it doesn’t get a lot of exercise. As a result, the connective tissue in this part of the cow isn’t toughened and you get very tender meat.
Ribeye steaks are taken from the beef rib primal cut – the associated roast of this beef cut is the prime rib. The major muscle in a rib eye steak is the longissimus dorsi. It runs from the hip bone to the shoulder blade.
It is fairly tender as this area of the cow doesn’t get much exercise. What stands out about the ribeye steak, though, is that it sits in an area where a great deal of intramuscular fat is deposited. This leads to a greater level of marbling.
The ribeye steak may be of the bone in or boneless variety.
Let’s take a look at the top differences between filet mignon and ribeye:
One of the easiest ways to tell these two types of steak apart is by the texture. The filet mignon steak is traditionally juicy and tender texture. This all has to do with muscle placement on the cow.
The muscles that the filet mignon is taken from doesn’t get much exercise. As such, it doesn’t have time to toughen and when cooked becomes melt in your mouth. The sign of a good filet mignon is that you can cut through it using only a fork.
Now, this doesn,t mean that the ribeye steak is a tough cut of meat. Instead, it is simply tougher than the filet mignon. Ribeye steaks have a fairly tender texture, particularly when cooked properly.
When it comes to which cut has the most steak flavor, though, ribeye steaks win the category. Due to its high fat content, it winds up being a flavorful cut of meat with a strong, meaty flavor.
As a result, when preparing the ribeye steak, most people like to season it as little as possible. You should always allow the natural flavors of the meat to shine through.
On the contrary, filet mignon is a rather tender cut. This is not to say that it doesn’t have any flavor, but it is quite a mild flavor, often slightly sweet.
This flavor profile is the reason that the filet mignon steak may be dressed up with a light marinade. However, it is more common for it to be served with a sauce or compound butter.
You do start off by cooking ribeye and filet mignon steaks in a pan. To begin with, oil is heated in a pan and the steaks are seared on high heat for a short time.
After this, you most commonly continue to cook ribeye on the pan, once again at a high temperature. The key to cooking ribeye steaks is maintaining that high temperature throughout – but the steaks are cooked quickly on either side.
It is also possible to cook ribeye steak on the grill – this is the preferred option when cooking more than one steak at the same time.
When cooking filet mignon, you are most likely to transfer it to the oven. While it is cooked at a slightly lower temperature it, too, is taken off the heat fairly quickly.
As you are probably aware, the filet mignon is certainly the more expensive of the two cuts of steak. If you buy the prime grade cuts from a store or butcher, it can run you about $30 to $45 per pound.
The ribeye steak is cheaper, but not always as much as you would think. A cheaper cut may cost you around $13 to $17 per pound. However, if you are looking for prime grade meat, then you may end up paying $23 to $50 per pound.
It would be easy to assume that filet mignon is the top popular option. After all, you can argue that it is the most talked about cuts. For a while there, you would have been right. The unbelievable buttery tenderness of the steak made it one of the more sought after options.
As an increasing number of people began to learn about ribeye steak, though, they began to appreciate the robust flavor that it had to offer. These days, you would find that people would just as likely order one type of steak as the other.
Well, these steaks aren’t completely different from one another, they do have one thing in common – their level of doneness.
Both of these steaks can be cooked up to medium level of doneness, but they taste best as medium rare. Thus, when cooking either of these steaks, it is important to monitor the temperature throughout.
This is a rather common question, particularly given the popularity of both filet mignons and ribeye steaks. I would argue that one isn’t better than the other. Instead, it is all about what you are looking for in a steak.
If a gorgeous buttery texture is what you are after and you do prefer mildly flavored meat, then filet mignon is the clear winner. Some people also dislike fatty meats or simply enjoy the fact that a filet mignon has very little fat to it.
On the other hand, if you are all about that meaty flavor, complete with incredible fat marbling, then a ribeye steak is the right pick for you. As an added bonus, it is the more affordable option as well!
Take the filet mignon out of the fridge 20 to 30 minutes before cooking. This allows it come down to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Liberally season all sides of the steak with salt and pepper.
Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Then, add the vegetable oil. Once the oil begins to smoke, add the steak to the pan. Leave it on one side – without moving – for 2 to 3 minutes or until a proper crust has formed.
Flip the steak over and then add in the butter, rosemary, and the garlic. Tilt the pan and spoon butter over the meat continuously. Let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer to the oven and cook for up to 7 minutes or until the temperature reaches 130 to 140 F.
Take out of the oven and let rest for 8 minutes.
Take the steak out of the refrigerator about 20 to 30 minutes before you start cooking. At this point, liberally season the entire steak with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat a cast iron skillet on high heat. Alternatively fire up your grill to high.
Don’t add any oil to the skillet. Once it is steaming hot, add the steak to it.
Sear for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Take off heat and let it rest for up to 2 minutes before serving.
So there you have it – a breakdown of filet mignon vs ribeye. You are now one step closer to being a steak connoisseur, allowing you to choose and cook your desired cut to perfection each and every time.
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