Learn how to cook the perfect filet mignon in the oven like the best restaurants. A little pan-searing on the stovetop, then cook in the oven for your perfect filet. Never fail results every time that is perfect for two or a crowd.
Quick and easy, this oven filet mignon recipe is the perfect date night recipe anybody can do in under 30 minutes, including resting time.
The best way to cook beef tenderloin filets is a combination of two time-honored techniques—pan-searing on the stovetop followed by baking in an oven to your perfect final temperature.
Start with good-quality filet mignon steaks—the size and thickness you want. Dry completely and rest to room temperature for about 30 minutes if you have time.
Sear in an oven-safe pan over medium-high heat in butter for about 2 minutes per side to get to about the final color you want.
Transfer the pan to a preheated oven and cook about 3°-5° less than your desired serving temperature. Remove from the oven and tent with foil for 5 minutes.
An easy 5. I have done this over and over and could survive on it.
🐄What is Filet Mignon?
Filet Mignon steak is sometimes called a filet steak or a tenderloin steak. It is part of the psoas muscle of the cow. Since the psosis does very little work nor weight-bearing, it is a very tender cut of beef.
A filet will be about 2-3 inches in diameter. An ideal serving size is a slice of about 1 ½ inch thick or slightly less will weigh about 8 ounces.
The best results are all about quality here more than almost any other cut of beef. Prime is the top 2%; you can buy it for about $35 per pound, which I usually buy at the best meat markets for special occasions.
Next, just under Prime, is Choice. About half the beef sold in the USA is Choice, and this is what most people will usually buy—an excellent value. It will be about $10-15 per pound.
But select grade is next, but it is of poor quality generally. And if you see a beef tenderloin that does not have any rating, it will be of poor quality.
How to Cook Filet Mignon in the Oven
Use prime or choice grade filet mignon steak. An 8 oz of filet mignon is a nice serving size. That will usually be between 1 to 1 ½ inches thick.
Prime grade is always a great choice, but choice grade is the most common and an excellent choice. Do not buy lower-grade filets.
The best choice is a cast-iron skillet. The flat bottom will transfer even heat over the surface without hot spots and make cast iron the best choice for pan-searing any meat.
But if you don't have a cast-iron skillet, any oven-safe pan that can move from stovetop to oven will do. Most skillets will be oven safe but have a temperature limit set by the manufacturer.
If you don't have an oven-safe pan you can use on the stovetop, you may use two pans—on for the stovetop then transfer to an oven-safe pan that you preheated with the oven,
Resting meat before cooking will bring up the internal temperature of a piece of meat before cooking. This helps prevent overcooking and drying of the surface of meat while getting the correct internal temperature.
30 to 60 minutes will do a good job, but even 15 minutes will have some benefit. Without this, cooking will take longer, and you may overcook and dry out the outside of meat—significantly if thicker.
Just a good shake of Kosher or sea salt and black pepper is enough. We like to use my All Purpose Seasoning - 7:2:1 and 7:2:2 that adds some garlic.
Other seasoning options include rosemary or a sprig of fresh thyme. Herb butter like Blue Cheese and Garlic Compound Butter will add many flavors.
Do not overdo the seasoning. You can always add more later, but it is impossible to remove.
The timing of any salt is important. Do not put salt on the meat for more than a few minutes before cooking unless you do 60 minutes or more. Between those times, it will pull water out of the meat but not allow enough time to reabsorb back into the meat.
The real secret to cooking the perfect filet mignon steak is to initially pan sear to get some Maillard reaction (tasty browning) followed by finishing in a 400°-425° oven to the final temperature you want. It is that simple—really.
Use paper towels to pat the filet mignon steaks dry then seasoned to your preference. Heat your pan medium-high heat with a tablespoon of butter until bubbling. Then add the meat to the melted butter and sear for about 2 minutes until you reach about the final color you want.
Real butter adds some excellent flavor. I have never had a problem with butter smoking with this method, but it may smoke if you have a powerful stove and use high heat.
If you have issues with smoking butter, then in the future, use high-quality vegetable or olive oil.
I suggest 400° but 375° - 425° will get similar results with a bit of change in time. You may use convection with the usual adjustment of 25° less.
If you are cooking other things in the oven simultaneously, adjust your time as needed.
🌡️How Long to Cook Filet Mignon in the Oven?
The total cooking time for medium-rare is about 9-11 minutes—about 4 minutes searing plus oven time. Don't forget to add 5 minutes of rest time in addition to cooking time.
Times are estimated for 400° oven and are for planning only. Please check once or twice before the estimated time. Never cook by time. Cook to an internal temperature a few degrees less than the serving temperature you want.
|Doneness||Internal Temperature||Approximate Oven TIme|
|Rare-cold red center||125°-130°||4-5|
|Medium Rare-warm red center||130°-135°||5-7|
|Medium-pink and firm||140°-150°||8-10|
|Medium Well-minimal pink||150°-155°||12-15|
|Well Done-firm and brown||160°+||15+|
Pick the internal temperature you want when served. Remove the steak a few degrees less and tent lightly with foil for 3 to 5 minutes or a bit more. I find the filet temperature will rise about 3-5 degrees while resting.
WARNING FOR RARE: For rare, it may be only a few minutes in the oven. If you did an intense sear with a rest to room temperature or if your filets are thinner, check the temperature of the meat when it goes into the oven if you want rare. It is hard to hit what you want, so observe and remove it a bit early. You can always cook it a bit more later.
A final word to the wise, NEVER COOK BY TIME ALONE, you should cook to your target internal temperature, and you must use an instant-read thermometer.
FAQs about Filet Mignon
The rest after cooking is essential since it will allow the fluid that escapes the cells during cooking to migrate back into the cells and make for a moist and tender filet.
I like to tent the cooked filets with foil for about 5 minutes before serving.
No. You must monitor the temperature correctly, or you will ruin your expensive meat. Please do not try to cook by time alone.
An instant-read meat thermometer will serve you well not with this recipe but with many other recipes.
For 2 inches or more filets, under sear a little before going into the oven.
Then bake as described to the final internal temperature but it will take longer depending on the size and thickness of the filets. You can sear a bit more when coming out of the oven.
Filet mignon goes with almost anything you like with a nice meal. A simple salad it another vegetable like asparagus, green beans, or broccoli match nicely. Our favorites are crusty bread and baked potatoes.
And, of course, an excellent red wine like merlot or cabernet.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Preheat oven to 400°. Start with 1 ½ thick filets, about 8 oz each, and trimmed well. Remove any silver skin. Rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes if you have time.
Pat dry well with paper towels. Season all sides to taste. Just kosher salt and black pepper will be excellent. I use my homemade All Purpose Seasoning - 7:2:1 and 7:2:2. Season just before cooking or 1 hour before cooking to prevent the salt from pulling fluid out of the meat.
In an oven-safe pan (I love my 10-inch cast iron), melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat or use oil. When hot, sear both sides of the filets for 2-3 minutes—sear, flip, sear, and final flip before going to the oven.
Transfer to the preheated oven. Cook to your desired done temperature minus about 3-5 degrees. For me, medium-rare is always about 8-10 minutes to get an internal temp of about 135°- 140°. If you want rare, check the internal temperature when the meat goes into the oven.
Remove from pan and tent lightly with foil on a plate and rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting. It needs to absorb fluids internally, and the temperature will rise a few more degrees during the rest.
Pan Seared Filet Mignon
- 2 Filet Mignon - about 1 ½ inch thick and about 8 oz
- 1 tablespoon butter - or butter
- salt and pepper - to taste or 7:2:2
- Preheat oven to 400°. Start with 1 ½ thick filets, about 8 oz each, and trimmed well. Remove any silver skin. If you have time, rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
- Pat dry well with paper towels. Season all sides to taste. Just kosher salt and pepper will be fine. I use my homemade All-Purpose Seasoning -7:2:2. Season just before cooking or 1 hour before cooking to prevent the salt from pulling fluid out of the meat.
- In an oven-safe pan (I love my 10-inch cast iron), melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat or use oil. When hot, sear both sides of the filets for 2-3 minutes—sear, flip, sear, and final flip before going to the oven.
- Transfer to the preheated oven. Cook to your desired done temperature minus about 3-5 degrees. For me, medium-rare is always about 8-10 minutes to get an internal temp of about 135°- 140°. If you want rare, check the internal temperature when the meat goes into the oven.
- I suggest checking the internal temperature after 4-5 minutes in the oven to see where you are on the internal temperature. Time can vary due to the exact temperature of the meat to start, the exact temperature of the oven, the pan used, and the thickness of the meat. Rare may take only a few minutes in the oven so beware if you want rare. DO NOT COOK BY TIME ALONE. YOU MUST CHECK THE INTERNAL TEMPERATURE. Times are provided to help planning only.
- Remove from pan and tent lightly with foil on a plate and let rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting. It needs to absorb fluids internally, and the temperature will rise a few more degrees during the rest.
My Private Notes
- An 8 oz filet will be about 2-3 inches diameter and close to 1 ½ inches thick. Quality matters a lot with filets.
- Resting at room temperature will help you get the final internal temperature you want without drying the surface of the meat.
- Try to season one hour before cooking or just before cooking.
- You may use butter or oil in the pan. Butter has a lower smoke point, but I have never had an issue.
- Pan should be hot and the meat dry before starting to sear.
- Sear each side to approximately the final color you want and do a final flip just before going in the oven.
- If you want rare and especially if the filet is thinner, check the temperature when it goes in the oven.
- I suggest checking the internal temperature of the filet about 4-5 minutes after going into the oven.
- There is a lot of variability in the time here. The thickness of the meat, the exact starting temperature, the stovetop, amount of searing, exact oven temps, and the pan. All very good reasons not to go by time. Time estimates is given as guides for time management.
- PLEASE USE AN INSTANT-READ THERMOMETER. DO NOT COOK BY TIME ALONE; YOU MUST CHECK INTERNAL TEMPERATURE.
- Times are provided to help planning only. You are responsible if you overcook it. You can always cook it a bit more later but you can not uncook an overcooked filet.
- Remove from the oven a few degrees below your final desired temperature. It will rise a few degrees when tented.
- Let rest tented for 5 minutes before serving.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editor's Note: Originally Published March 10, 2012. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.