You know you want to serve steak for dinner, but you just aren’t sure which type of steak would work best? When choosing between a thick slice filet mignon vs ribeye, you may want to consider factors such as cost, flavor, texture, and cooking methods. We are laying out a direct comparison of the two meats to help you make a decision.
|Cost||$35 / pound||$30 / pound|
|Thickness||1″ to 2″||½” to 2″|
|Finish||Medium Rare||Medium to Medium Well|
|Size||8-9 ounces||8-20 ounces|
|Cooking Methods||Pan Sear||Grill or Cast Iron Pan|
*Prices will vary significantly depending on where you live.
🍖 What is Filet Mignon?
This cut of beef comes from the short loin of the animal. The filet mignon steaks are boneless and thick. What sets these steaks apart is the texture which is literally the most tender steak, most consistently textured beef you can buy. This is the meat most often described as melt-in-your-mouth and buttery, because the texture is beautiful.
Filet means “strip”. Mignon is French for “dainty.” Only a very small amount of Filet Mignon is found on each cow, making it a more rare and expensive cut. This particular muscle of the cow is hardly used at all, which is why it is so incredibly tender.
However, the flavor of Filet Mignon is lacking in intensity because there is very little fat or connective tissue to render. This is why you will often see the meat served with gravy, aus jus, or some other sauce when it is served at restaurants.
Expect that this will be the most expensive cut of beef. We often do the comparison of Tenderloin vs Filet Mignon as they are both tender and succulent cuts of beef.
🍲 What is Ribeye?
Ribeye steaks, also known as Delmonico steaks, are taken from the primal rib of the cow, on the back near the spine. This is the same are where the prime rib roast comes from.
West coasters call the ribeye a Spencer steak. Butchers also refer to them as beauty steaks or market steaks. Don’t be confused when people say that the scotch fillet is the same as a ribeye. It is the same cut, the difference is just the ribeye has the bone and the scotch fillet doesn’t.
They are comprised of three major muscle sections, the complexus, spinalis, and longissimus dorsi muscles. In fact, one of my favorite recipes uses just the spinalis, or Ribeye Cap Steak.
Ribeyes may be boneless or bone-in, with the rib still attached. They are cuts of meat removed from the center of the prime rib. Arguably, these are the best steaks money can buy.
Ribeye has strong, big-beef flavor and is a tender, juicy meat. The steaks can be anywhere from ½” to 2″ in thickness, and range in size from 8 ounces to 20 ounces.
These also have high fat content with the gorgeous marbling. So many of us compare the Porterhouse vs Ribeye when looking at which one is our favorite to pop on the grill.
🍳 How to Cook
Ribeye: To get a perfect ribeye, you just need fifteen minutes or less on the grill. Get the grill good and hot first, and give your ribeye a nice sear to lock in the juice. Then, pick your doneness level and use your instant read thermometer to guide your finish. Flip the meat once about halfway through. You can also test the doneness by pushing the meat with your finger in the center. If you do not have a grill or prefer indoor cooking, you can pan sear a ribeye on a hot cast iron skillet in almost exactly the same way.
Filet: To cook Filet Mignon to perfection, get a cast iron skillet hot. Pan sear the filet to thoroughly on the outside to seal in moisture. Finish the meat with a pat or two of butter in the pan. Serve the meat medium-rare, which doesn’t take much longer than a hard pan sear. Make sure to include aus jus, horseradish, gravy, etc. Another popular method for cooking this meat is to wrap it in bacon.
🥘 Recipe Tips
Always check the 5 Tips to See if Your Steak is Bad before starting up the grill.
Ribeye does not need much seasoning. Salt and pepper or a simple rub of garlic, salt and pepper are all that is needed. It has intense flavor of its own and you don’t want to overpower it.
Season Filet Mignon with salt, pepper and any combination of herbs or flavors. You can use lemon pepper, rosemary, or thyme just to name a few. You can also use your favorite steak seasoning.
Rubbing Filet with olive oil or vegetable oil will help make up for the lack of fat in the meat. Finish it with butter for a decadent flavor.
Do not overcook Filet. The lack of fat will cause this meat to dry out very quickly. It should be served medium-rare.
If you choose to marinate it, don’t leave it in the soak for very long. It will develop an unpleasant texture.
Look for the telltale signs to find out how to tell if a steak is bad.
🍽️ How to Serve
Whether you are serving either cut of meat, the same BBQ Sides will complement your steak perfectly. We are a huge fan of these Smoked Asparagus Bundles. Stick to tradition with baked potatoes, salad, and a good bread. Go a different direction with Grilled Roasted Root Vegetables and a Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad. In either case, make sure to pair your steak with a high quality wine of choice.
How to Store Leftovers
Any time I have leftover steak, I like cut it into cubes, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge, and make steak and eggs for breakfast. It also works well for sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, tacos, or soups. Keep your steak sealed in the refrigerator for two or three days. If you can’t fit the leftovers into your schedule, just throw the container in the freezer where it will keep for up to three months.
What Part of the Cow is Filet Mignon?
Filet Mignon is cut from the beef tenderloin, which is the psoas muscle, which runs down the length of the spine. Usually, this is cut out of the cow as a long, thin cut, called the tenderloin.
You’ll find this most often cut into steaks and labeled filet mignon.
It depends. Which do you value more – tender, melt-in-your-mouth buttery meat of a filet or slightly less tender, but highly flavorful meat in a ribeye? Cost may also be a consideration.
Yes. Pound-for-pound the Filet will cost more. However, you can possibly serve your guests less Filet Mignon since each steak is about 8 ounces already cut. Ribeye steaks are often cut in 10-12 ounce portions.
No. It is probably the most tender cut of steak available but the flavor is lacking and it is super easy to dry out when cooking. It must be served medium-rare to rare and can be a bit finicky.
Technically, the Filet Mignon is a leaner cut of meat resulting in healthier meat with less fat, less cholesterol, and fewer calories. Ribeye has a higher fat content, more cholesterol and more calories per pound. Both of these beef cuts are excellent sources of protein, iron, and other vitamins and minerals.
No. They look similar but are not the same. Eye fillet is an oddly-shaped cut that spans between the short loin and the sirloin. It may also be called beef tenderloin. The eye fillet is close in location to the Filet Mignon, and is very tender. It is, however, not the same exact cut of meat.