Filet Mignon vs Ribeye: Which Cut Reigns Supreme for Your Meal?

Discover the succulent tenderness of Filet Mignon and the rich flavor of Ribeye to elevate your dining experience.

filet mignon vs ribeye

If you’re planning a steak dinner and deciding whether to cook filet mignon or ribeye, you’re not alone. It can be a tough decision because both cuts of beef have a delicious flavor.

There are a lot of misunderstandings regarding cuts such as ribeye steaks and filet mignon. Some assume price determines the best cut of beef, but that’s not necessarily the case (both cowboy and tomahawk steaks are from a ribeye). Despite what they cost, ribeye steak and filet mignon are incredible cuts of meat.

However, they do offer slightly different tastes and textures apart from each other, so let’s dive deeper into the difference between ribeye and filet mignon and which is better for your meal!

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Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon Filet Mignon vs Ribeye: Which Cut Reigns Supreme for Your Meal?
Filet mignon served on a plate in restaurant

Filet mignon is one of the most popular cuts of beef with a reputation for being a top-end steak. Filet mignons are prized for their tender texture. Its name, loosely translated in French, means “dainty thick slice.”

The meat is cut from the tenderloin section of the cow, which is located at its back just below the loin (a section of meat inside the cow’s ribcage). Along with the beef rib, the tenderloin is situated in this last portion of meat.

Cuts of Beef

The cut comprises a more significant amount of the loin behind the rib cage. One factor that makes the tenderloin so tender is that it’s not a weight-bearing muscle. The tenderloin muscle doesn’t experience a lot of movement. This means it has less connective tissue, which adds to its tenderness.

The very best filet mignon comes from the more significant portion of the loin, which is also the softest. This tissue contains thin strips of fat and has less marbling than most cuts, meaning it has a milder flavor.

Recipe for a perfect filet mignon.

Here is a fantastic recipe for cooking the perfect filet mignon. 

Ribeye Steak

Ribeye is famous for its generous portions, flavor, and tenderness.

The cut comes from the rib section of a cow and lies between its loin and shoulders. While similar to sirloin, ribeye is pretty tender but has much more fat and marbling, which helps produce a juicy and tender piece of meat renowned for its delicious flavor.

The steak is named for its appearance, which can sometimes be a lot of fat marbling with a center swirl of solid meat resembling an eye. Both prime roasts and ribeye steaks are cut from the same area, but prime rib is sliced rather than cooked whole.

Ribeye is most tender when it’s sliced thinly, going against the grain — it becomes one of the most tender beef cuts when done this way. And much such a relatively lean piece of meat, ribeye steaks are surprisingly rich and flavorful with plenty of fats that create a fantastic flavor but don’t add a lot of weight.

Ribeye is available in two different cuts: boneless and bone-in. This cut is usually dry and drives excellent benefits for a cooking method that uses moisture.

Recipe for the perfect ribeye steak

If you’re looking for tips on cooking the perfect ribeye steak, check out this guide.

Differences Between Filet Mignon and Ribeye Steaks

The most significant difference between ribeye steak and filet mignon is where they are cut from. However, more distinct differences such as texture, flavor, size, and cost set these two great pieces of beef apart.

Texture

Both cuts have natural tender quality. But, the filet mignon’s texture is much softer than the ribeye. This has more to do with the lack of connective tissue. The more connective tissue, the more challenging the meat will be to cut.

Flavor

Ribeye is more flavorful than filet mignon. So if you want the most hearty, beefy flavor, ribeye steaks are the way to go. However, while it may have a less pronounced taste, filet mignon also contains less fat and is usually not as greasy as a ribeye.

Another factor in flavor is the side dishes accompanying your meat. For example, a ribeye’s more robust flavor may overpower certain dishes.

Size and Appearance

Regarding size, filet mignons are generally the smaller of the two steaks, usually around one inch thick and about six to eight inches long.

Cost

Both steaks are generally more expensive than other cuts. However, filet mignon is by far the pricier of the two steaks. The scarcity and tenderness of this cut have a lot to do with its cost.

FAQs about Ribeye vs Filet Mignon

What is better ribeye or filet mignon?

This depends on what you value more in a steak. Ribeye is the better steak if you want a bold, beefy flavor. And if you want the most tender piece of meat with a mild flavor that you can season to your liking and won’t overpower your sides, then filet mignon is a better choice.

Is ribeye more tender than filet mignon?

No, Filet mignon contains far less connective tissue making it more tender than any other cut, including ribeye.

What cut of steak is considered the best?

Just about every cut will have its own merits, so no one cut of meat is genuinely supreme in everyone’s eyes. However, there are a few fantastic cuts that stand out; they are:

What is the Best Cut for Smoking?

Different people are going to have their tastes. However, a cut’s natural texture plays a huge role in the time it takes to cook meat. For example, since ribeye is tougher, it will usually take longer to smoke than filet mignon.

This is one reason it can be considered one of the best cuts for smoking since the longer you smoke it, the smoky flavor it will have. Plus, it’s already pretty flavorful on its own.

Then again, since the filet mignon has such a subtle natural flavor, adding a slight, woody, smoky flavor might be just what many folks are looking for, along with the filet mignon’s tender texture.

Is filet mignon overrated?

No, filet mignon isn’t overrated. It’s probably just misunderstood. Many expect it to be the supreme steak that tops all others because of its price.

In truth, it’s an incredibly tender cut of beef with a subtle flavor that allows seasoning influences and side dishes to share the stage. It’s all about personal taste at the end of the day.

Is filet mignon high end?

Filet mignon is considered a high-end steak due to its coveted textures and quality, along with other premium cuts such as Japanese Kobe beef, Japanese Wagyu beef, and American Wagyu beef. These steaks are known for their exceptional overall quality and tend to be on the pricier side.

Which is more tender ribeye or filet mignon?

Ribeye and filet mignon are both popular cuts of beef, but when it comes to tenderness, filet mignon generally takes the lead. This is because the muscle area where filet mignon is found is not used by the live animal, which helps prevent toughness caused by physical exertion.

Does filet mignon taste like ribeye?

Filet mignon does not taste like ribeye because while ribeye steak is slightly tougher, its high fat content makes it juicier and more tender than many other cuts. Additionally, the high fat content of ribeye steak contributes to its stronger flavor compared to filet mignon.

What’s cheaper filet mignon or ribeye?

Filet mignon is considerably more expensive than ribeye, despite both cuts generally being pricier compared to other meats. The higher cost of filet mignon can be attributed to its tenderness and limited availability.

Why is filet mignon so popular?

Filet mignon’s popularity stems from its tenderness, juiciness, and relatively lean nature, making it one of the most sought-after steakhouse cuts. Not only does it possess a delicious flavor on its own, but it also pairs exceptionally well with various sauces, seasonings, and marinades, showcasing its versatility and ability to please any crowd. Ultimately, filet mignon’s memorable qualities and ability to satisfy make it a favored choice among many.

What steak cut is most expensive?

The most expensive steak cut is the A5 Kobe cut, which is renowned for its impressive marbling and is usually served thinly sliced. Kobe beef is assigned a rating when it is processed, with the highest rating being A5.

What cut is better than ribeye?

A cut that is better than ribeye is sirloin. If you desire a steak that is both tender and flavorful, but with lower fat content compared to ribeye, sirloin is an excellent choice. Occasionally, you may come across sirloin steaks being marketed as New York Strip, Kansas City Strip, Omaha Strip, or a club steak.

Why is ribeye the best steak?

Ribeye is considered the best steak due to its exceptional juiciness and rich beefy taste. These incredibly flavorful cuts are essentially prime rib roasts that have been individually sliced, originating from the upper rib section of the cow. The high fat content of ribeyes ensures that they remain moist and succulent, even when cooked at extremely high temperatures.

What is the best steak like filet mignon?

The best steak similar to filet mignon is very thin cut strips of sirloin steak, which can be just as tender and offer great value. To prepare it, we suggest cooking it quickly on high heat through broiling, sautéing, or grilling. For optimal results, we recommend cooking sirloin to a medium rare to medium doneness. Otherwise, if cooked longer, it may become overcooked and too chewy.

Is filet mignon tough meat?

Filet mignon is not tough meat because it is sourced from the tenderloin, which is the least worked muscle of the animal. Being an ultra tender cut, it is also very lean, lacking significant fat content that would contribute to its flavor and texture.

Is ribeye better than New York strip?

Ribeye is superior to New York strip due to its higher amount of marbling, resulting in a more exquisite, intense flavor and tenderness. Although the New York strip is still a fantastic steak, the ribeye surpasses it in terms of the quality of flavor and texture.

Is filet mignon a good cut of steak?

Filet Mignon is indeed a good cut of steak as it is derived from the tender and delicate tip of the Tenderloin, a highly prized section of the loin primal. Additionally, being a lean portion of the animal, it offers a fork-tender steak with minimal fat or connective tissue. These exceptional qualities have contributed to the Filet Mignon’s reputation as one of the most sought-after beef cuts.

Is filet mignon the most tender cut of beef?

Filet mignon is widely regarded as the most tender cut of beef due to its lean composition, delicate texture resembling butter, and thick cut. These delectable steaks are so tender that they can be effortlessly sliced with a butter knife. Filet mignon is also commonly referred to as tenderloin steaks or simply filets.

Why do people like filet mignon?

People like filet mignon because it is known as the most tender and flavorful cut of meat, so much so that a prime filet mignon can be easily sliced through with a fork. The term “filet mignon” is of French origin and translates to “dainty filet,” which accurately describes the delicate and exquisite nature of this steak.

Is it better to grill a ribeye or filet?

It is better to grill a ribeye steak than a filet mignon because the high fat content of the ribeye allows for faster cooking and higher temperatures. However, when grilling a filet mignon, it should be cooked quickly and not above medium heat to avoid drying out its low fat content and preserving its tenderness.

Why is my filet mignon tough?

Your filet mignon may be tough because the protein strands have been denatured by high heat, resulting in a chewy texture. To ensure tenderness, it is important to carefully monitor the internal temperature of the filet mignon. Additionally, cooking the meat slowly and evenly will help achieve a consistent texture and flavor throughout.

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