Whether you love beef or are making steak for a special occasion, you’ve probably wondered what the differences are between cuts like tenderloin and fillet mignon.
It’s not always clear what the distinction between the cuts and their names is, or which cuts go with which meals.
Luckily, beef is tasty and can be used in many different ways. It is easy to cook and fun to experiment with in new dishes, especially once you know the basics of beef cuts.
Filet mignon and beef tenderloin are two of the cuts about which people ask the most questions.
People sometimes think that tenderloin and fillet mignon are the same cut of meat because they come from the same part of the animal and have similar qualities (such as tenderness and leanness).
So, are fillet mignon and tenderloin the same thing? Tenderloin or fillet mignon?The short answer is “yes,” but there are major differences.
What Is Tenderloin?
The tenderloin is the muscle in an animal that is between the upper loin and the sirloin. This part of the meat is one of the most tender because you don’t have to move it around much. The weight of a tenderloin depends on how it is sold.
It can be bought as a whole fillet or in small pieces called medallions. On average, it weighs between 4 and 6 pounds.
You can buy tenderloin both trimmed and untrimmed. Tenderloin that hasn’t been trimmed has cow fat and silver skin that need to be taken off before cooking.
The big medallions in the middle of the tenderloin that can be cooked on their own are called “tornadoes.” “Chateaubriand” is the name for the top part of the tenderloin, and it can feed two people.
How to Prepare Beef Tenderloin
As a longer cut of beef, the tenderloin is great for roasting in the oven or cooking sous vide. To make beef tenderloin, heat your oven to 425°F and bake for 35–65 minutes (cooking times depend on desired doneness and size of roast). Cook until the meat is 135°F on the inside for medium-rare and 145°F for medium.
Beef Tenderloin Dishes and Recipes
No matter how you cook it, beef tenderloin will make your meal better. You can slice the tenderloin and put it on a salad, or you can make pepper-crusted beef tenderloin with creamy horseradish sauce. View more recipes that only use Aspen Ridge Beef Tenderloin.
What Is Filet Mignon?
Filet mignon is a tender cut of beef that comes from the narrow front part of the tenderloin, close to the short loin.
It is a lean cut with little marbling or connective tissue. Since fillet mignon doesn’t have much fat, it doesn’t taste much like beef, but it is very tender. A perfectly cooked fillet mignon almost melts on your tongue.
Filet mignon is a small cut of meat. In French, “mignon” means “small,” and the cut is usually between 1.5 and 2.5 inches across.
Most of the time, these two-inch steak medallions are the most expensive part of the carcass. They are a luxury delicacy that chefs often cook simply and serve with luxury sides like pomme purée or sautéed asparagus.
Preparing Filet Mignon: How to Cut Filet Mignon from Beef Tenderloin, Recipes, and More
Some people think of fillet mignon as a luxury item, but you don’t need a chef to make it (or even to cut it from the tenderloin yourself). In fact, cooking Filet Mignon is not much different from cooking other steaks.
If you have fillets that have already been cut into pieces, you can grill or pan-fry them before finishing them in the oven. You could even use a method that is easier to “set and forget,” like sous vide or air frying.
If you want to separate fillet mignon from tenderloin, trim the tenderloin and cut it into 2-inch steaks with a sharp butcher’s knife.
The softest part of the tenderloin is at the thinnest end, which makes steaks that are most like ready-made fillet mignon (though preparation should be the same for all the filets).
After cutting the tenderloin into pieces, you can cook it in any of the ways listed above. We recommend the following tenderloin steak recipes in addition to Air Fryer Filet Mignon:
- Tenderloin Steak with Olive and Artichoke Tapenade
- Garlic Steak & Potato Skillet with Demi Glaze
- Beef Cobb Salad
Key Differences Between Filet Mignon and Beef Tenderloin
Fillet mignon steaks are a small, highly sought-after piece of beef tenderloin. They differ from beef tenderloin in terms of where they come from and how much there is of them.Here are the differences between the different cuts of meat:
- Beef tenderloin is a larger cut of beef that is similar to fillet mignon. If you want to make a big beef dish like beef Wellington for a group, buy the whole tenderloin or a big piece of it from the grocery store or butcher. If you want to grill a great steak, ask for the fillet mignon.
- Butchering techniques by region: Depending on where you are in the world, you may find different cuts of fillet mignon and other parts of the tenderloin. In France, butchers separate cattle based on where the muscles are. They cut the tenderloin into pieces. The fillet mignon was in the front, the chateaubriand was in the middle, and the bifteck was at the rump end of the tenderloin. The fillet mignon is a T-bone steak, and the chateaubriand is a porterhouse steak. The tenderloin is part of a larger steak cut in the United States.
- Cooking time: Fat and bones act as insulators and slow down the cooking process. Fillet mignon cooks quickly because it has no bones and not much fat. Sear the fillet mignon in a hot oven-safe skillet (like a cast-iron pan) for about two minutes per side, until a brown crust forms. Then, finish cooking for a few minutes in the oven. (You can also skip the oven and cook the fillet mignon in a skillet over high heat for three to eight minutes per side.)
- How to put it together: Due to its size, a whole beef tenderloin is a popular cut for roasting. Larger pieces of beef tenderloin should be roasted in an oven set to 425 degrees for just under an hour for medium-rare, which is 135 degrees Fahrenheit on the inside. Slowly cook a tenderloin roast, and then sear the outside by putting it under the broiler. Give the meat ten minutes to rest before cutting it.
Tenderloin vs. Filet Mignon Similarities
- Both the tenderloin and the fillet mignon come from the same part of the cow.
- Both fillet mignon and tenderloin are well-known beef cuts for how soft they are.
Tenderloin vs. Filet Mignon Pros and Cons
Tenderloin Pros and Cons
Pros of Tenderloin
- Red meat, like tenderloin, is good for your health because it has iron and vitamin B-12.
- Tenderloin is not only delicious and tender, but it is also cheaper than fillet mignon and can be enjoyed by anyone.
Cons of Tenderloin
- Most of the time, tenderloin is served raw to keep its soft texture and rich flavour, but eating raw meat can be dangerous for your health in a number of ways.
- When you eat red meat every day, like tenderloin, it can raise your cholesterol and make you more likely to get heart disease.
Filet Mignon Pros and Cons
Pros of Filet Mignon
- Filet mignon is a cut of beef that is very tender and can be liked by people who like steaks that are soft.
- Filet mignon is a great choice for people who don’t like too much fat because it is a lean, low-fat cut of meat.
Cons of Mignon
- At a steakhouse, fillet mignon is one of the most expensive steaks you can order.
- Because of this, it is not a good cut of beef for people on a tight budget.
- Most people who have eaten fillet mignon say that it isn’t as tasty as other cuts of beef.
- This is because most of the flavour in beef comes from its fat, and fillet mignon has less fat and is a leaner cut.
Both tenderloin and fillet mignon come from the same part of the animal and are cut the same way. These two slices are known more for how soft they are than how they taste.
Because of this, most people were confused and thought that both words meant the same thing. Think about how tenderloin and fillet mignon are different.
The main difference between tenderloin and fillet mignon is that tenderloin is the muscle between the animal’s upper loin and sirloin, while fillet mignon is made from thin slices of the last part of the tenderloin.
The flavour of tenderloin meat is stronger than that of fillet mignon. But when fillet mignon and beef tenderloin prices are compared, fillet mignon is more expensive because it is leaner and has less fat.