The best way to cook Filet Mignon is a short stovetop searing and then finish baking in the oven for perfectly moist and tender filet mignon every time.
The best way to cook beef tenderloin filets combines two time-honored techniques. Pan-searing on the stovetop will create a tasty Maillard reaction for flavor. And then bake in an oven to your perfect final temperature.
Quick and easy, this mignon filet recipe is the perfect date night recipe anybody can do in under 30 minutes, including resting time. A properly cooked filet mignon is the best steak for any special occasion. You get never fail results every time that is perfect for two or a crowd.
Learn to sear then bake filet mignon as the best restaurants cook. You can do the same at home.
For grilled filet mignon, please see How to Grill Filet Mignon, which is equally delicious.
Check out some other great steak recipes, like Grilled Strip Steaks, Seared and Baked Strip Steak, and Grilled T-bone Steak and Porterhouse Steak. This recipe is featured in The Best Steak Recipes for Father's Day, Easter Recipes, and Valentine's Day Recipe Roundup.
👨🍳How to Cook Filet Mignon
- Pat dry and rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes if you have time while preheating the oven to 400°.
- Sear in a hot cast-iron pan with butter for about 2 minutes per side to get to about the final color you want.
- Transfer the seared filet mignon in the pan to a preheated oven and cook to an internal temperature of about 3°-5° less than your desired final filet mignon temp.
- Remove from the oven and tent with foil for 5-8 minutes.
⏰How long to cook filet mignon
The total cooking time for medium-rare with a 400° oven is about 9-11 minutes—about 4 minutes searing plus oven time. Don't forget to add 5-8 minutes of rest time in addition to cooking time.
Approximate cooking times in a 400° oven are estimated for planning only.
- Rare—cold red center(125°-130°)—4-minute sear and 4-5 minutes oven time for about 8-9 minutes total cooking time. Please see the caution below for rare.
- Medium-Rare—warm red and soft center(130°-135°)—4-minute sear and 5-7 minutes oven time for about 9-11 minutes total cooking time.
- Medium—pink and firm (140°-150°)—4-minute sear and 8-10 minutes oven time for about 11-13 minutes total cooking time.
- Medium-Well—minimal pink(150°-155°)—4-minute sear and 12-15 minutes oven time for about 16-19 minutes total cooking time—not recommended.
- Well-Done—firm and brown(160°+ )—4-minute sear and 15+ minutes oven time for about 19+ minutes total cooking time—not recommended.
Actual cooking time will vary by thickness, rest time, searing, and oven temperature—NEVER COOK BY TIME ALONE, and use a thermometer.
Pick the internal temperature you want when served. Remove the steak a few degrees less and tent lightly with foil. The filet temperature will rise 2°-4° while resting. You can not uncook meat but can always cook it a bit more. Be sure to check your temperature early,
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 early. You can always cook it a bit more later.
✔️Ingredient options and tips
Filet Steaks tips
- Quality matters A LOT. Buy prime grade if you can afford it, or choice grade will also give excellent results.
- If you have questions, talk to your local butcher—they love to discuss their products and have a wealth of knowledge.
- A filet will be about 2-3 inches in diameter. An ideal serving size is a slice of about 1 ½ inches thick or slightly less and will weigh about 8 ounces.
- The exact weight of various thicknesses of filets varies by diameter. One inch will be about 6-7 ounces.
- The thicker the steak, the more important the precooking rest at room temperature becomes to get the internal temperature you want.
- Skipping the rest before cooking will increase the cooking time by as much as 50% or more. And adversely affect the surface cooking.
- The 5 to 8 minutes rest after cooking before cutting is essential for moist and tender final results. It allows moisture that comes out of the cells during cooking time to reabsorb, assuring perfect results.
- 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.
- 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 it.
- 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 oil.
- If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, any oven-safe skillet 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 want to use fresh herbs, like thyme or rosemary, put them on top of the steaks with a pat of butter as you move them to the oven.
🐄About Filet Mignon
Use only 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 ¼ inches thick.
Filet Mignon steaks are sometimes called filet steaks or beef tenderloin steaks. It is part of the psoas muscle of the cow. Since the psosis does very little work nor is weight-bearing, it is the most tender cut of beef.
🍳Why Use Cast Iron
The best choice is a cast-iron skillet. The flat bottom will transfer even heat over its surface without hot spots. This makes cast iron the best choice for pan-searing any meat. It is cheap, and every cook should have a skillet or two.
The secret to cooking the perfect filet mignon steak is to pan-sear to get some Maillard reaction (tasty browning), then finish 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 season to your preference. Heat your pan on 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 the final color you want.
Resting before cooking will elevate the internal temperature of the 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 benefits. Without this, cooking will take longer, and you may overcook and dry out the outside of the meat—significantly if cooking a thicker filet.
Resting after cooking is probably the biggest secret to a great filet most people skip. It 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 with this and many other recipes.
For 2 inches or more filets, under sear a little before entering 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 Au Poivre is a beef filet with a heavy coat of cracked pepper—about 1 ½ teaspoon per filet. Add a bit of salt and cook per this recipe. There is an accompanying sauce that has a liquor or wine base.
You can make the reduction sauce by adding a tablespoon of butter to the hot pan after removing the filets over medium heat and cooking a couple of minced scallops until soft. Add a clove of crushed garlic and ¾ cup of good red wine.
Up the heat to high and whisk until the mixture thickens moderately and reduces in volume—about 5 minutes when the sauce sticks to a spoon. Return the filets to the pan, spoon the sauce over the fillets, and serve.
🍽️What to serve with filet
Filet mignon goes with almost anything you like with a nice meal. Our favorites are crusty bread, Oven Roasted Baby Potatoes or Parmesan Baked Potatoes along with a side salad or hot vegetables like Green Beans with Almonds or Roasted Asparagus.
For a wine pairing, choose a red wine like Merlot, pinot noir, or Cabernet.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Preheat oven to 400°. Start with 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inch thick filets, about 8 oz each, and trim well. Rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes if you have time.
Pat dry well with paper towels. Season all sides to taste with the seasoning of your choice. Just kosher salt and black pepper or All Purpose Seasoning - 7:2:1 and 7:2:2 are enough.
In a cast iron or other oven-safe skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. When hot, sear both sides of the filets for 2-3 minutes—sear, flip, sear, and a final flip before going into the oven.
Transfer to the preheated oven. Cook to your desired internal temperature minus about 3°-4°. Medium-rare takes about 8-10 minutes to get an internal temp of about 135°- 140°. Check the internal temperature when the meat goes into the oven if you want it rare. Also, check the temperature a few minutes early to prevent overcooking.
Remove from pan and tent lightly with foil on a plate and rest for 5-8 minutes before cutting.
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 ¼ to 1 ½ inch thick filets, about 8 oz each, and trim well. Rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes if you have time.
- Pat dry well with paper towels. Season all sides to taste with the seasoning of your choice. Just kosher salt and black pepper or All Purpose Seasoning - 7:2:1 and 7:2:2 are enough.
- In a cast iron or other oven-safe skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. When hot, sear both sides of the filets for 2-3 minutes—sear, flip, sear, and a final flip before going into the oven.
- Transfer to the preheated oven. Cook to your desired internal temperature minus about 3°-4°. Medium-rare takes about 8-10 minutes to get an internal temp of about 135°- 140°. Check the internal temperature when the meat goes into the oven if you want it rare. Also, check the temperature a few minutes early to prevent overcooking.
- Remove from pan and tent lightly with foil on a plate and rest for 5-8 minutes before cutting.
Your Own Private Notes
- An 8 oz filet will be about 2-3 inches diameter and 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inches thick. Quality matters a lot with filets, use prime if you can but choice grade will work.
- 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 5-8 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.
I sear for 2 mins then 6-7 mins at 450F, perfect medium rare every time. 12 or 13 mins seems awfully long.
Welcome to the blog.
Your experience is why I have the warnings all over the recipe. Different equipment, different thickness and weight of the meat. It sounds like you have hit the right combo for you and thanks for reporting your experience.
Hi Dr. Dan,
I realize your specialty is cooking for two, but I'm wondering what your thoughts are on searing 20 filets, then putting them in the oven all at once to finish? I guess I am more concerned about the small rest in between searing and the oven for the first few. (I'm fine with time management and temperatures as I cook often) I usually grill 20 filets for our NYE friends dinner, but thought this would be nice to try without having to go out in the cold. I'm wondering if I just shouldn't leave it in a loin and then cut/serve after resting? (My problem there is that I have folks that eat med-rare and med-well, so I've always done filets and removed them/started them at different times to achieve the correct temp for all at the same time) Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
Welcome to the blog.
So I have never done more than 4 like this but have some ideas.
You don't have to use the same pan in the oven as the stovetop. A hot sheet pan would do and should be able to hold 20 filets. I would think the ones in the middle would cook a bit less so you might be able to do med-rare in the center and the outside more well done.
For the searing, you could use three large skillets or a griddle on the stove top. You could also vary the starting time there. You will want to get about the same sear on them though. I have a large electric grilled that should work also. It can fry bacon so it should be able to sear a steak at full temperature.
Of course, the grill would be less fussy but griddle to sheet pan should work. I grill all winter. Large natural gas grill 3 feet from the door.
So those are my thoughts, probably worth what you paid for them.
Let us know if you do this and how it worked in case anybody else has a similar issue.
I cooked it exactly as stated. Used butter. Cast iron pan. 3 min each side. 12 min in oven. Turned out overcooked. They were 8 oz filets
Sorry it didn't work well for you. What internal temperature were you aiming for and what was the internal temperature when you removed it from the oven? Did you check the temperature before that time?
I bought a full filet roast. Can I cook before cutting individual filet steaks? What do you recommend?
Welcome to the blog.
What you do with your filet roast is really a choice for you and what you have. If you have the whole tenderloin or a large chunk, you can do a wonderful roast.
But since I'm usually cooking for 2 or 4, I usually cut mine into filets then cook or freeze them. If you decide to cut up your tenderloin, watch a couple of Youtube videos first. It is more than just cutting.
All my recipes for beef tenderloin are at https://www.101cookingfortwo.com/category/beef-tenderloin/ including a small roast and the whole tenderloin. These posts were written in the first month of this blog and were meant for me and the family as notes. So they do not have the detailed photo instructions you see on this post.
Hope that helps some. Ask more if you need to.
Best filet I ever made! So good! I used half butter and half olive oil. Seasoned with Montreal steak and garlic salt. Put some fresh garlic in my butter. Browned well on stove and put in 400 oven. Cooked to 135 for medium rare. Awesome!! 5 stars!
Joyce Ann Millard
My husband & I purchased USDA Prime Filets & made this recipe on 1/17/18, & it was absolutely delicious & perfect. We used kosher salt, coarse ground pepper, & granulated garlic. It was so good that we are preparing 2 Prime Filets tonight in the same manner for our Valentine's Day dinner plus some sides. We have also done this recipe with NY Strip Steaks and they were delicious too! Thank you...perfect! Joyce Ann
Thanks for the note. It is our special occasion meal.
I love this recipe but what do you do if the filets are already wrapped in bacon...do you sear the sides of the filet as well?
Welcome to the blog.
I would for a few minutes total. The bacon will take 15-20 minutes to cook so give it a bit of a start.
I agree with you...I made the filet mignon as suggested and I've never had a better steak! Thank you so much!
Just made this for dinner tonight and it came out PERFECT!!!! We normally grill the filets, but it is too cold outside, so I decided to try this recipe and I am so glad that I did! Thank you so much for sharing.
I fixed this new years day for my wife. I paired this with the parmesan garlic crusted potato. I am not sure what to say, I have been grilling quality steak for 45 years but it is Alaska and was cold, dark, and I just didn't want to grill outside in my parka. This was the best filet I have ever fixed. This will be my go to for filets. It had just a small ring of seared meat around the edge then the remainder was the perfect medium/medium rare bright pink just the way my wife likes it. Not only was this a 5+ but the parmesan garlic potato was as well. The best part is they could both be in the oven at the same time. Thanks Dr. Dan
This is a great recipe and thickness of the steaks makes a difference in the cooking time. Tried it twice with about 1 inch steaks. First time cooked in oven a little to long but steaks were still very tender. Second time cut down on oven time to about 7 minutes and steaks were perfectly medium rare. Nothing went to waste!!!
Fixed this tonight - I had never done steak in the oven. It is simply scrumptous and so very easy! I will certainly do it again!
Thanks so much for the note. I love simple recipes like this.
Followed your instructions and made the best steaks yet for my son tonight before his wisdom teeth come out tomorrow and solid foods won't be happening for a couple days. Thank you for clear and wasy to follow guidelines! Used temp, not time and they came out perfectly! We thank you!
I am always against using a thermometer to figure out cooking time because you have to pierce the meet, allowing some of the good juices to escape. Is that not a problem in the real world and only a problem in my head?
More in your head really. There is research showing that small amount of moisture loss doesn't matter. A few pokes to get it right is well worth it. After you get used to it, most of your cooking becomes "one poke" dinners.
Thank you! This method delivered a perfect steak--the best I have ever prepared myself! It literally cut like butter and was bursting with meaty flavors.
45 minutes prior to cooking, I removed the steaks from the refrigerator, dried them in paper towel to absorb all excess liquid, applied generous salt and pepper, and coated them with olive oil. I let them set on the counter for 45 minutes to get nice and room temperature.
I followed the directions above, and preheated the oven to 425, also preheating the broiler pan I would later place the steaks on.
And into the medium high nonstick pan. Because they were coated in oil, I didn't need any extra oil or butter in the pan--just dropped them right in. 2 mins each side.
Right into the foil-lined broiler for 10 minutes (they were about 1.25" so I adjusted for slightly less time. The digital meat thermometer made it very easy.
Wow. Just wow. The results are amazing. I will never cook a steak any other way again.
I will take 20% of the credit. So much of this depends on good quality ingredients which you obviously started with. Add in a digital thermometer and you should get great results.
Welcome to the site and thanks for the note.
Hi, Dr. Dan-I am using your method (my husband's new favorite)to cook some filets tomorrow. I have some beautiful (and expensive)filets I will be serving to out of country guests. My question to you is should I leave them unwrapped in the fridge so they get a dry exterior?Thank you for your input. Judy
Leave them covered, they will lose too much moisture.
You saved Easter dinner! Steaks ready - went to light BBQ, and out of propane (I know, charcoal is better, but...!).
A quick google search brought me here. Great result (my husband says he'd rather this preparation than the grill.). Couldn't be easier. I used butter with a splash of olive oil to help keep from burning, but think next time I'll use all butter.
Thanks Dan! A great and foolproof recipe.
Glad it worked well for you. My grill is natural gas so no trip to refill the tank for me anymore.
Thanks for the note
Once again, another wonderful simple recipe from Dr. Dan. I love how you don't overcomplicate your recipes, your techniques are straightforward for all, but especially beginner cooks. And the food always tastes great -- I also love your Buttermilk Ranch Chicken Kabobs and Oven Baked Blueberry Pancake!
Excellent recipe! I was afraid I'd overcook them so I got them a tad underdone for my taste, but still very very good...and I might now appreciate a little pink in my steak!
Did this a couple months ago, excellent! Doing again tonight.