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Filet vs Filet Mignon: What’s the Difference?

Alright, gang, we’ve all been there. Standing in the meat aisle, staring down the beef section like it’s a high-stakes quiz.

Filet Mignon and Filet.

Sounds fancy, right? We’ve asked ourselves, “Aren’t these the same thing?” Spoiler alert: they’re not.

I remember this one time, we tried to impress someone special. Picked what we thought was Filet Mignon.

Turns out, knowledge is power, folks. And today, we’re powering up.

Get ready to know what makes them different. This isn’t just about steaks; it’s about not making our mistakes.

What is Filet?

Filet is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating terms in the world of gastronomy.

It is a thin, boneless piece of meat or fish that is taken from the tenderest part of the animal or fish.

Steak Filet, for example, is a prime cut of beef that can be obtained from a cow’s tenderloin or ribeye muscle.

Meanwhile, Fish Filet is typically made by removing the bones from a fish’s midsection.

This process may sound simple, but it requires great care and skill to ensure that the meat or fish remains tender and juicy.

Whether you are a foodie or not, understanding the intricacies of Filet is essential if you want to appreciate the finer aspects of gourmet cuisine.

What is Filet Mignon?

Filet mignon is a famous cut of beef.

It comes from the tenderloin, which is the longest and tenderest muscle in the cow.

It’s known for its tenderness, flavor, and high price.

To be filet mignon, it must be cut from the thickest part of the tenderloin.

Then it must be trimmed of fat and silver skin.

This process yields a small but yummy piece of meat.

It can be served whole or sliced into rounds.

The quality of filet mignon depends on how it’s raised and prepared.

Some say grass-fed beef is tastier and healthier, while others say grain-fed beef is more tender.

Either way, filet mignon is popular worldwide.

Differences Between Filet and Filet Mignon

Filet and Filet mignon are terms for delicious cuts of beef.

Their difference? Filet is boneless, not coming from one part of the animal, while filet mignon is taken from the tapered end of the tenderloin.

Cut of Meat

The Filet is a popular cut of meat, with many forms.

But the Filet Mignon stands out.

It’s tender and has a fine texture.

It comes from the tenderloin section of beef.

Plus, it has a buttery flavor.

Both cuts look similar.

But the Filet Mignon has extra trimming.

The fat and connective tissue is removed.

This makes it an exquisite dining experience.

Whether you prepare it at home or get it at a restaurant, understanding these differences can help you appreciate this beloved cut of meat more.

Origin and Naming Convention

The terms ‘filet’ and ‘filet mignon’ are often mixed up.

However, they refer to different cuts of meat from the same area.

The filet, also known as tenderloin, is a lean cut from the short loin area.

Filet mignon is from the smaller end of this cut.

It’s known for its tenderness and mild flavor.

In French, ‘filet mignon’ means ‘small, cute fillet.

‘ In contrast, ‘filet’ simply means ‘a boneless piece or slice of meat or fish.


For cooking, filet mignon is usually reserved for special occasions.

It takes less time on the grill or pan due to its tenderness.

Tenderness and Texture

Meat-eating comes with its own set of considerations.

Filet and filet mignon are known for their tenderness and juiciness.

But, there are differences.

Filet is taken from the short loin of a cow and is renowned for its low fat content.

Filet mignon is a cut of beef tenderloin from the narrow end of the muscle.

It has a buttery texture and a rich flavor, making it a hit in high-end restaurants.

Filet mignon stands out with its luxurious texture and melt-in-your-mouth experience.

Its marbling helps too.

And, filet has a leaner quality.

Knowing the distinctions between them will help you select the right cut for your taste buds and cooking preferences.

Flavor Profile

Filet and filet mignon? Not the same.

Filets are leaner, with a mild flavor.

Filet mignon is from the tenderloin.

It has more fat, so it’s tastier and richer.

To get the most flavor, know which cut you’re using.

Filets are for subtle tastes.

Filet mignon for bold flavors.

Similarities Between Filet and Filet Mignon

Filet and filet mignon are often used interchangeably.

Both are cuts from a cow’s tenderloin.

They’re known for their tenderness, low-fat content, and mild flavor.

This makes them a popular choice for meat lovers.

Yet, they do have some differences.

The main difference is size.

Filet is bigger and includes multiple sections.

Filet mignon is the smaller end portion of the same cut.

Filet can be cooked whole or cut into steaks.

Filet mignon is served as individual portions.

Texture is another difference.

Filet is slightly coarser than filet mignon, due to its size and muscle tissue.

Yet, when cooked properly, both are known for their melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Price is also different.

Filet mignon is usually more costly than regular filet, due to its size and demand.

Cooking and Serving Recommendations

Filet and filet mignon differ in several aspects.

Filet comes from the side muscles, bonelessly cut, while filet mignon is from the thick end.

Filets are usually smaller than mignon, which can be up to 3 inches thick.

Little seasoning or marinade should be used as they have delicate flavor.

Cooking times should be short and high heat should be used – grilling, broiling, or pan-searing.

Medium-rare or rare bring out the natural taste best.

Pairing with red wine is recommended.

Suggested sides include roasted veg, mashed potatoes, or creamy macaroni and cheese.

Sauces like mushroom sauce or red wine reduction enhance taste and add depth.

Understanding the differences between filet and filet mignon allows for an informed decision when cooking – stroganoff recipe or a steak dinner party menu.

Where to Buy Filet and Filet Mignon?

Are you in the market for filet or filet mignon? There are numerous options to choose from, and the quality, price, and availability vary depending on the store or retailer.

Here are 6 of the top places to purchase these cuts of meat:

  • Local Butchers: Get fresh, high-quality cuts here.
  • Grocery Stores: Offering a good selection at competitive prices.
  • Online Meat Retailers: Get convenience and variety from shops like Crowd Cow or Omaha Steaks.
  • Wholesale Clubs: Bulk packages of premium quality beef at discounted rates.
  • Specialty Gourmet Stores: Unique and high-end food products to satisfy your adventurous cravings.
  • Farmer’s Markets: Source locally grown meats, fresh and flavorful.

Do your research before buying, as factors such as quality, grade level, age, marbling score etc.

, determine the price.

Also remember the differences between filet and filet mignon – Filets are usually broader while a Filet Mignon’s diameter is no larger than two inches.

Now you’re ready to shop for the perfect filet or filet mignon.


Filet and filet mignon can be similar, yet different.

Filets are usually thinner and have less fat than filet mignons.

They have a distinct texture and taste that can be sensed by those with a sharp palate.

Preparation and cooking of either may differ.

If unsure what to pick, it’s best to chat with your butcher or chef.

Filet vs Filet Mignon: What’s the Difference?

Andrew Gray
Steak enthusiast? Delve into the variances between filet and filet mignon to select the perfect cut for your next culinary adventure.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That


  • Choose between a filet and a filet mignon based on your preference and desired cut of meat.
  • Follow the cooking instructions specific to your chosen cut, considering factors such as thickness and desired level of doneness.
  • Prepare the filet or filet mignon according to your preferred cooking method, such as grilling, pan-searing, or broiling.
  • Season the meat with your desired spices and seasonings, ensuring even coverage on all sides.
  • Cook the filet or filet mignon to your preferred level of doneness, using a meat thermometer for accuracy.
  • Allow the meat to rest for a few minutes before serving, allowing the juices to redistribute and the flavors to develop.
  • Serve and enjoy the tender and succulent filet or filet mignon as the star of your meal.
  • Explore different recipes and preparation techniques to fully appreciate the qualities of each cut of meat.
Keyword Filet vs Filet Mignon
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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