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Filet Mignon vs Ribeye – What’s The Best For Your Meal?

Filet Mignon vs Ribeye – What’s The Best For Your Meal?

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 each steak to decide which cut is best for your meal.

Filet Mignon

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 Filet Mignon vs Ribeye

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.