Pan Seared Filet Mignon

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I’m a girl’s girl. You can borrow my hair tie, and yes, I’d love to go to brunch this weekend. Salad with a side of fries? I’m so in. But I also love a good steak. You’re welcome to throw some t-bones on the grill or stir fry some flank steak. But the only way to cook a filet mignon in my house is pan seared & finished in the oven. The caramelized crust, the juicy flavor throughout, the control over getting the temperature just right for the perfect ‘medium rare’ (my personal fav).

Filet mignon is the epitome of tenderness and has a buttery texture that just melts in your mouth. It’s definitely a luxury cut, often saved for those special, pull-out-all-the-stops kind of occasions.

Because filet mignon is on the lean side, cooking it just right is everything. My go-to is to aim for medium-rare or medium doneness. That’s the sweet spot where you get to keep all that tenderness and juiciness.

The trick to nailing the perfect steak is all about the combo of pan searing and finishing it off in the oven. This one-two punch gives you that beautiful sear on the outside (thanks to the high heat) and a juicy, evenly cooked inside (courtesy of the lower, indirect heat in the oven).

What’s great about this cooking method is its consistency and predictability. I’ve used this approach countless times, and it’s never let me down. It’s straightforward and easy to master, ensuring a delectable filet mignon every time.

How To Cook Filet Mignon In A Pan

Cooking filet mignon on top of the stove is like having a mini steakhouse right in your kitchen – especially if you have a gas stove! It’s all about that sear and sizzle! Here’s how you can do it:

1.Prep: Let your filet mignon sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. This helps it cook more evenly. Season it with salt and pepper or your favorite steak seasoning.

2. Heat Your Pan: Get a heavy skillet, like your favorite cast iron pan, nice and hot on medium-high heat. You want that sizzle when the steak hits the pan.

3. Sear: Add a few tablespoons of butter to the pan. Gently place the filet mignon in the pan and sear it without moving it around. This will give you a beautiful crust. Sear each side for about 2-4 minutes, depending on your desired doneness.

4. Add Some Flavor: Once you’ve flipped the steak, you can add some butter, garlic, and fresh herbs (like thyme or rosemary) to the pan. Spoon the melted butter over the steak as it finishes cooking to put those flavors into your steak.

5. Check for Doneness: Use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s cooked to your liking (more details on that later).

6. Rest: Let your filet mignon rest for a few minutes after cooking. This is like the steak’s meditation time, allowing the juices to settle back into the meat.

7. Serve: Slice, serve, and watch everyone’s eyes light up with joy!

Cooking filet mignon on top of the stove is a quick and delicious way to enjoy a fancy steak dinner without leaving your home. Plus, you get to feel like a gourmet chef in the process!

How To Sear Filet Mignon and Finish In Oven

Preheat your oven while your steak is resting. Searing happens fast! Follow the above steps 1 through 4, then, immediately after searing, transfer the skillet with the steaks into your preheated oven.

Roast in the oven for about 5-10 minutes, depending on your desired level of doneness. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the steak but here’s a general guideline for a steak that’s about 1 ½ to 2 inches thick:

  • Rare: 5-6 minutes in the oven (120-125°F internal temperature)
  • Medium Rare: 7-8 minutes in the oven (130-135°F internal temperature)
  • Medium: 9-10 minutes in the oven (140-145°F internal temperature)
  • Medium Well: 11-12 minutes in the oven (150-155°F internal temperature)
  • Well Done: 13-15 minutes in the oven (160°F and above internal temperature)

Remember, these are approximate times, and factors like the exact thickness of the steak and the heat of your oven can affect the cooking time. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. then lets the steaks rest for 5 minutes and serve.

A raw but seasoned filet mignon sits on a white plate.

Should I Cook Filet Mignon In Butter Or Oil?

Disclaimer: this is a matter of opinion (but isn’t that kind of what you’re here for?) Cooking filet mignon in butter is the best, most delicious choice. I mean, it’s butter.

Butter adds a rich, indulgent flavor that compliments the tender, melt-in-your-mouth goodness of filet mignon perfectly.

Here’s my personal method: start with a hot cast iron skillet to sear the outside of the steak, locking in those juices. Then, lower the heat a bit and add a generous spoonful of butter. 

Feel free to get a little fancy by tossing in some garlic, herbs, or even an herb infused butter to create a beautiful, flavorful basting sauce. Spoon this buttery goodness over your steak as it cooks, and you’ll end up with a filet mignon that’s absolutely to die for.

Just remember, keep an eye on the heat, as butter can burn if it gets too hot. But get it right, and you’ll be in steak heaven.

How To Use A Meat Thermometer

Using a meat thermometer is almost an everyday step in my home, and a nonnegotiable when it comes to cooking raw chicken. (Does it just give anyone else the biggest ick?) Anyway, we aren’t talking about raw chicken today (thankfully). 

No matter what you’re cooking, knowing how to use a meat thermometer is a foundational cooking skill. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use it effectively for steaks:

  1. Once the meat is partially cooked, insert the thermometer probe into the thickest part of the meat. Avoid touching fat, bone, or gristle, as these can give inaccurate readings.
  2. Wait for the thermometer to give a reading. Instant-read thermometers give a quick reading, while dial thermometers may take a little longer.
  3. Remember that meat continues to cook even after it’s removed from the heat source. This is known as carryover cooking, and it can increase the internal temperature of the meat by about 5°F. While that doesn’t seem like much, when cooking steaks it could impact your desired doneness.
  4. Based on your desired final temperature, remove the meat from the heat source a few degrees before it reaches that temperature. For example, if you want a final internal temperature of 160°F, remove the steak at about 155°F.
  5. Rest the Meat: Allow the meat to rest for a few minutes before slicing. This lets the juices redistribute, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful meal.

After every use, clean the thermometer probe with hot, soapy water to prevent future cross-contamination. Most are not dishwasher safe, like for real – not like the dry-clean-only dress that totally makes it through a wash cycle. 

Putting a meat thermometer in the dishwasher can make it inaccurate, putting your dinner and stomach in danger. 

A raw filet mignon sizzles in a cast iron skillet surrounded by garlic and herbs.

What Does Steak Doneness Mean?

I just know that the person who came up with this term is a girlie at heart. Steak doneness literally is a way to describe how cooked, or done, the steak is. It’s all about how long your steak is cooked and, as a result, how it feels, looks, and tastes. Let’s break it down:

Rare 120°F to 130°F: This one’s for the brave-hearted or the “I want my steak mooing” crowd. It’s cooked just a smidge on the outside, leaving the inside red and cool. If you’re into a super tender and juicy steak with a strong beefy flavor, rare is your go-to.

Medium Rare 130°F to 135°F: Ah, the sweet spot for many steak aficionados! The outside is seared to perfection, while the inside remains mostly red but slightly warmer than rare. It’s like the perfect balance of tenderness and flavor. If Goldilocks ate steak, this would be her pick … and mine!

Medium 140°F to 145°F: The middle child of steak doneness. The outside is well-seared, and the inside has a band of pink in the center. It’s not too rare, not too done – just right for those who like a little more “done-ness” without crossing over to the dark side.

Medium Well 150°F to 155°F: Now we’re entering the “I like my steak a little more on the done side” territory. There’s just a hint of pink in the center, and the steak is firmer to the touch. It’s for those who like their steak cooked but still want a touch of tenderness.

Well Done 160°F to 165°F: The “no pink, please” zone. The steak is cooked all the way through, with no signs of red or pink. It’s the choice for those who prefer their steak fully done, with a firmer texture.

Steak doneness can totally change the game when it comes to flavor and texture. I encourage you to order / cook your steak how you personally like it and not to let anyone tease you about your choices, whether you go for blue raw, just shy of burnt or somewhere in between, we don’t steak shame here! 

How Long To Pan sear Filet Mignon?

That totally depends on what doneness you’re aiming for. 

  • Rare: About 2-3 minutes per side. You’re aiming for a cool, red center.
  • Medium Rare: Approximately 3-4 minutes per side. This should give you a warm, red center with a hint of pink.
  • Medium: Around 4-5 minutes per side. Look for a warm, pink center with a touch of red.
  • Medium Well: About 5-6 minutes per side. You’re going for a slightly pink center.
  • Well Done: Roughly 6-7 minutes per side. The goal is a brown center with no pink.

Remember, these times can vary depending on the thickness of your steak and the heat of your pan. It’s always a good idea to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. 

And don’t forget to always let your filet mignon rest for a few minutes after cooking. (And you too girl, you deserve it.)

Can You Cook Filet Mignon On Top Of The Stove?

Yes, and you absolutely should if you love the combination of mouth-watering-ly juicy steak interior with a caramelized crusty exterior. 

A raw filet mignon is placed with tongs in a cast iron skillet surrounded by garlic and herbs.

Can You Make Pan Seared Filet Mignon With No Oven?

Absolutely! You can make a delicious pan-seared filet mignon without using an oven. Just heat a heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) on the stove over medium-high heat. Add some butter or oil, and once it’s hot, place the filet mignon in the pan. 

Sear each side for a few minutes to get a nice crust, then lower the heat and continue cooking the steak to your desired level of doneness, flipping occasionally. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving, and you’ll have a perfectly cooked filet mignon, all done on the stovetop!

How long to cook filet mignon on the stove

The cooking time for filet mignon on the stove can vary depending on the thickness of the steak and your preferred level of doneness. Here’s a general guideline for a 1-inch thick filet mignon:

  • Rare: About 2-3 minutes per side
  • Medium Rare: About 3-4 minutes per side
  • Medium: About 4-5 minutes per side
  • Medium Well: About 5-6 minutes per side
  • Well Done: About 6-7 minutes per side

For thicker steaks, you’ll want to add a few extra minutes to each side. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature and always let the steak rest for a few minutes after cooking before cutting into it.

How Do You Get A Good Sear On A Filet Mignon?

Ah, achieving that perfect sear on a filet mignon is like the holy grail of steak cooking! Here are some tips to help you get that beautiful, caramelized crust:

  • Start with a Dry Surface: Pat the filet mignon dry with paper towels. Removing excess moisture helps the steak sear better rather than steam.
  • Season Generously: Sprinkle salt and pepper (or your preferred steak seasoning) on both sides of the steak. This not only adds flavor but also helps form a crust.
  • Preheat the Pan: Use a heavy-bottomed skillet, preferably cast iron or stainless steel. Heat it over medium-high heat until it’s really hot. You should be able to feel the heat when you hold your hand above the pan.
  • Use the Right Oil/Fat: Choose an oil with a high smoke point, like grapeseed, avocado, or canola oil. Add a small amount to the pan, just enough to coat the bottom.
  • Place the Steak: Gently lay the filet mignon in the pan. It should sizzle immediately. Don’t move it around; let it sear for about 2-4 minutes (depending on thickness and desired doneness) until it forms a nice crust.
  • Flip It Once: Use tongs to flip the steak carefully. Sear the other side for another 2-4 minutes.
  • Add Flavor: After flipping, you can add some butter, garlic, and fresh herbs (like thyme or rosemary) to the pan. Tilt the pan slightly and spoon the melted butter over the steak as it finishes cooking.
  • Check for Doneness: Use a meat thermometer to check that it’s cooked just right.
  • Rest the Steak: Remove the filet mignon from the pan and let it rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute (rather than run all over your cutting board), making the steak more tender and flavorful.

Serve your perfectly seared filet mignon and bask in the glory of your steak-cooking prowess!

A filet mignon sizzles in a cast iron skillet surrounded by garlic and herbs.

Pan Seared Filet Mignon: Stainless Steel Pan Vs. Cast Iron Skillet

Ah, the age-old debate: stainless steel pan vs. cast iron skillet for pan-searing filet mignon. Both have their fans and their unique quirks, so let’s dive into the sizzling details:

Cast Iron Skillet

  • Heat Retention: Cast iron is the heavyweight champion of heat retention. Once it’s hot, it stays hot, which is perfect for getting that gorgeous, even sear on your filet mignon.
  • Flavor: Some say cast iron adds a certain something-something to the flavor, especially if it’s well-seasoned from years of cooking.
  • Durability: With proper care, a cast iron skillet can last a lifetime (or even several lifetimes). Great grandma’s skillet is literally a coveted heirloom in many families.

Stainless Steel Pan

  • Heat Responsiveness: Stainless steel pans heat up and cool down quickly, giving you more control over the cooking temperature. This can be handy if you need to adjust the heat on the fly.
  • Non-Reactive: Unlike cast iron, stainless steel doesn’t react with acidic foods, so you can deglaze the pan with wine or vinegar to make a delicious sauce without worrying about off-flavors.
  • Low Maintenance: Stainless steel is easier to maintain than cast iron. No need to worry about rust or seasoning the surface.

So, which one should you choose for pan-searing filet mignon? It really comes down to personal preference. If you’re all about that sear and love a bit of kitchen nostalgia, go for the cast iron skillet. If you prefer precise temperature control and ease of maintenance, the stainless steel pan might be your best bet.

Either way, with the right technique, both pans can produce a mouthwateringly delicious filet mignon that’ll have you feeling like a steakhouse chef in no time!

Is Filet Mignon A Healthy Choice?

Filet mignon is a healthy choice when it comes to red meat, especially since it’s a lean cut of beef with less fat compared to other cuts. It’s high in protein, which is great for muscle repair and growth, and it also provides important nutrients like iron and B vitamins. 

Most American filet mignon servings are either a 6oz or 8oz size. Let’s look at the nutrition stats for a bigger serving.

8 Oz Filet Mignon Nutrition

An 8 oz filet mignon is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. Here’s a breakdown of its nutritional content:

  • Protein: Around 48 to 50 grams, making it an excellent source of high-quality protein
  • Fat: About 25 to 30 grams, with a lower proportion of saturated fat compared to other cuts of beef
  • Cholesterol: Approximately 135 to 145 milligrams
  • Vitamins: A good source of B vitamins, especially vitamin B12 and niacin
  • Minerals: Rich in minerals like zinc, selenium, and iron

Keep in mind that these values can vary slightly depending on factors such as the exact size of the steak and how it’s prepared. If you cook your filet mignon with additional fats like butter or oil, this will increase the overall fat and calorie content. But overall, an 8 oz filet mignon is a nutritious option that provides a substantial amount of protein and important nutrients.

A filet mignon sizzles in a cast iron skillet surrounded by garlic and herbs.

8 Oz Filet Mignon Calories 

An 8 oz filet mignon, which is a lean cut of beef, typically contains around 450 to 500 calories. This can vary slightly based on factors like the exact fat content of the meat and how it’s prepared. If you add extras like butter for cooking, that will increase the calorie count. But on its own, an 8 oz filet mignon is a relatively low-calorie option for a steak of its size.

How Much Does A Filet Mignon Cost?

The cost of filet mignon can vary quite a bit depending on where you buy it, the quality of the meat, whether it’s organic or grass-fed, and even where you’re located.

Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $40 per pound for filet mignon at a grocery store or local butcher shop. That will make an 8oz steak around $10.

If you’re dining out at a steakhouse, a filet mignon entrée can range from $40 and up at a chain restaurant and $80+ at a fine dining steakhouse. 

Keep in mind that prices can fluctuate based on factors like supply and demand, so it’s always a good idea to check current prices in your area.

Pan Seared Filet Mignon Recipe

This is not a recipe blog so I will simply link you up to a few of my favorite recipes online.

Krissy at Self Proclaimed Foodie has a filet mignon recipe very similar to how I cook mine.

Nora at Savory Nothings has a solid pan seared filet mignon recipe that uses oil in the skillet.

Jen at Whole Lotta Yum uses infused butter on her filet mignon recipe that sounds delicious.

A cut pan seared filet mignon on a a plate with sides.

What To Serve With Filet Mignon

In true Midwestern fashion, we will start with potatoes. I personally think a steak and potato combo with a nice side salad can’t be beat but I have options for you that come in close second: 

Potatoes:

  • The iconic baked potato: This is a classic for a reason, a bit of butter and chives and you’re good.
  • Roasted baby potatoes: They’re bite-sized and full of flavor.
  • Smashed potatoes: Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, they’re a fun twist on a baked potato.
  • Homemade wedges or fries: For a lighter, crispier side, these are a great choice.
  • Mashed potatoes: Some people love a pile of mashed potatoes with their steak. While they’re not my go-to with a regular steak, they do add a touch of elegance when paired with filet mignon.

Vegetables:

  • Roasted asparagus: tender, flavorful spears complement the richness of the filet mignon.
  • Roasted green beans or air fryer green beans: A simple yet delicious side that adds a nice crunch to the meal. We regularly roast seasoned green beans for sides.
  • Roasted broccoli or air fryer broccoli: Roasting or air frying brings out the natural sweetness in broccoli, making it a tasty accompaniment.
  • Roasted Brussel sprouts: Their nutty, caramelized flavor pairs well with the savory steak.
  • Baked stuffed mushrooms: These are a classic pairing with steak, adding a juicy, earthy element to the plate.
  • Salad: A light, crisp green salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing is the perfect way to add some freshness and balance to the richness of the steak.
  • Bread: Who can resist a fresh piece of crusty bread to soak up any infused butter on the plate?
A pan seared filet mignon on a plate with sides.

I served our filets with baked potatoes, parmesan stuffed mushrooms, and corn on the cob (because it’s March and I haven’t seen fresh corn in months until this week). The key is to choose sides that will enhance the star of the show – the filet mignon – without overshadowing its delicate flavor.

About Author

TiaGoodnight

Hey! I'm Tia, and I started this site to bring you the best information on all things kitchen so you can enjoy and elevate your everyday life.

I love trying new techniques and tools, living for the thrill of pulling off a new skill. On weekends you'll find me at the local farmer's markets or hosting friends and family for an evening of yard or card games and delicious food.

If you're looking for honest, real-world advice on all things kitchen and cooking, you're in the right place!