Beef Tenderloin Vs Filet Mignon: Comparison The Differences?

Beef Tenderloin Vs Filet Mignon: Comparison The Differences?

If you’re in the market for that special steak to take your meal or dinner party up a notch, then you may be wondering what the differences are between beef tenderloin vs filet mignon. Though these two cuts of beef are both highly prized for their tenderness and delicious flavor, there are important distinctions that can make one more suitable than another depending on your needs.

In this blog post, we’ll compare and contrast these two cuts of steaks to help decide which is better suited for your next dinner party. We will cover the taste profile, nutritional value, and versatility when it comes to preparation. No matter if you’re a beginner in the kitchen or an experienced chef, by gleaning information from this post you’ll be able to make an informed decision on which cut is right for your needs!

What Is Beef Tenderloin?

Beef tenderloin is the larger cut of beef from the same area as filet mignon, but it runs along the entire length of the short loin. The long muscle will often have a strip of fat running down one side which gives it more flavor and moisture than its smaller counterpart. Since this cut comes from an area of the cow with less activity, it’s even more tender than filet mignon—but also pricier.

The long muscle cuts are usually prepared in pieces that range in size from six to twelve inches long, making them ideal for grilling or roasting whole. It’s also an excellent choice when you need to serve a large party since these steaks can easily be cut into portions.

What Is Filet Mignon?

Filet mignon is a small, cylindrical steak cut from the end of the tenderloin. Generally, these steaks are two to three inches thick and weigh around four ounces each—much smaller than the whole tenderloin muscle. As with all cuts of meat, filets come in different grades that indicate the amount of marbling within the steak; prime grade indicates more marbling than choice grade.

In terms of taste and texture, filet mignon is usually considered to be slightly more tender and flavorful due to its higher fat content than beef tenderloin. Furthermore, since it’s a smaller cut, it requires less cooking time and cooks faster than a larger piece of beef tenderloin, making it an ideal choice for a quick dinner.

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Tenderloin vs. Filet Mignon Pros and Cons

Tenderloin Pros and Cons


-Tender cut of meat

-Can be cooked whole or in smaller portions

-More flavorful due to its fat content


-Expensive due to its size and quality of cut

-Requires more cooking time than filet mignon

Filet Mignon Pros and Cons


-Smaller, easier to portion for individual servings

-Cooks quickly compared to tenderloin

-Highly marbled for maximum flavor and tenderness


-Often more expensive than tenderloin due to its scarcity

-Lacks the intense beefy flavor found in tenderloin cuts.

Beef Tenderloin vs. Filet Mignon: What’re the Differences?

-The Cut of Beef:

The tenderloin is a cut of beef that many people are already familiar with but when talking about filet mignon, it can create confusion.

The two cuts of beef come from the same muscle, the short loin or tail end of the animal. The tenderloin can be bought as a whole piece while the filet mignon comes in small pieces cut in rounds from that same piece of meat.

The difference between these two cuts lies in their shape: While the tenderloin has a cylindrical shape, the filet mignon tapers down to a point at one end like a cone.

Tenderloin is a long muscle stretched from Sirloin to the Loin, comprising three cuts; tail, center-cut, and the butt. Tenderloin is sold as the entire piece of meat.

So next time you go shopping for steaks, make sure to differentiate between tenderloin and filet mignon for delicious dinner!

-Type of Meat:

If you looking for the optimal type of meat, tenderloin and filet mignon present a great option. Both are lean cuts without any bone or fat which makes them easier to prepare, allowing for greater accuracy when cooking.

Although this means less energy is spent in preparation, there may be some concerns about lack of flavor due to the lack of bone or real fat. If you’re searching for a lower fat selection, then tenderloin would be your better choice.

On the other hand, if you want more flavorful meat with more moisture, then filet mignon would be an excellent pick due to its higher fat content.

-The Size:

The beef tenderloin is a larger cut of beef that includes the filet mignon. The entire muscle weighs around 4 to 6 pounds, making it perfect for cooking large, shareable beef dishes such as Beef Wellington.

The butcher can even cut this meat into small medallions if you just want to cook meals for a couple people. If you are just looking to cook one perfect steak, then ask the butcher for filet mignon – the smaller cut of beef ideal for single-serving meals.

-The Marbling:

Marbling is an important factor to consider when it comes to choosing the optimal cut of meat. Marbling refers to the amount of fat that’s naturally found within a steak, which adds flavor and moisture.

In general, tenderloin has less marbling than its filet mignon counterpart due to the smaller size and lower fat content. However, if you opt for prime grade beef, then you will get more marbling in both cuts – though the filet mignon will still have more fat overall.

-Cooking Method:

Cooking a beef tenderloin is easy for any level of chef, due to its large size and low fat content.

The preferred cooking method for larger sections of tenderloin is in a 425-degree oven on a roasting rack. Cooking the steak this way allows it to reach medium rare, or 135°F internally, within an hour.

For an extra flavor boost, you could roast the tenderloin at a low temperature before turning up the heat to sear the exterior and finish cooking.

If you’re looking for more intense flavors, try pan-frying in a skillet over high heat for several minutes per side. Cooking beef tenderloin can be made into an enjoyable and delicious meal with just a few simple steps!

-Cooking Time:

Cooking filet mignon is a breeze – typically, fat and bones act as insulators during cooking, which can slow the process down.

Since filet mignon is boneless and low in fat content, it cooks especially fast. To create the perfect sear, briefly pan-fry or oven-bake your filet mignon over high heat for two minutes per side.

Alternatively, skip the oven part by simply pan-frying the filet mignon in a skillet over high heat, about three to eight minutes per side.

Cooking time does vary depending on size however – for example, tenderloin takes longer due to its larger cut size but when cooking medallions individually, it only takes a few minutes.

-The Appearance:

The beef tenderloin, being a long, slightly curved cut of meat, can be easily identified in comparison to the filet mignon, which is much smaller and has a more even shape.

If you’re looking for marbling in your steak, however, the filet mignon will provide you much more than its larger counterpart due to its naturally higher fat content.

But no matter your preference in flavor or texture – both cuts are sure to deliver a deliciously tender and juicy bite each time!

-Butchery Style:

Butchery styles vary around the world, which means that when it comes to filet mignon (and other pieces of tenderloin) you may find different cuts or portions depending on where you are.

In France, butchers practice a more traditional technique, where they cut the meat from the carcass into sections, like the filet mignon at the front and the châteaubriand in the middle.

But if you’re in America, traditionally-shaped steaks like T-bone steaks and porterhouse steak include parts of the tenderloin within them.

Whether you know your way around Butchery 101 or not, it’s important to pay attention to what kind of cuts are available for each filet mignon–or any other piece of meat–you purchase.

-The Price:

Price is often what matters most when it comes to filet mignon, and I’ve come to learn that there is a huge range of prices depending on the quality and cut.

Prime filet mignon can cost anywhere from $20 – $90 per pound – these higher prices reflect the top-quality cuts typically chosen by skilled butchers.

Although it may seem pricey, purchasing filet mignon to cook at home could save you a lot of money compared to eating it in a restaurant.

-Versatility When It Comes to Preparation

Beef tenderloin and filet mignon can both be cooked using a variety of methods, such as grilling, roasting or pan-frying. However, because of its size, beef tenderloin is more often roasted in the oven or slow-cooked on the grill for an even cooking process. Filet mignon can also be grilled, but it cooks faster and requires less time over direct heat than its larger counterpart.

Additionally, beef tenderloin can be cut into smaller steaks for filet mignon-style preparations if desired. These cuts are typically referred to as medallions or chateaubriand—both slightly different from traditional filet mignon.

-Presentation and Serving:

When it comes to presentation and serving, filet mignon is best served hot, with all of its juices still intact. It can be enjoyed simply seasoned with salt and pepper or topped with a flavorful sauce.

Beef tenderloin also presents nicely when roasted whole and carved at the table – slice it into thick medallions and serve on a platter for an impressive presentation.

Regardless of how you choose to prepare it, both beef tenderloin and filet mignon are excellent cuts of meat that will make for a delicious meal no matter what!

-Nutrition Value of Beef Tenderloin vs Filet Mignon

Beef tenderloin and filet mignon are both very lean cuts of steak, so they are both high in protein and low in fat. However, due to its higher fat content, filet mignon has slightly more calories per serving than beef tenderloin.

Both types of steak also contain important nutrients such as iron, zinc, selenium, potassium, vitamins B6 and B12. The main difference between the two is that filet mignon contains slightly more saturated fat and cholesterol than beef tenderloin.


Preferences for types of meat can depend on individual tastes. When it comes to tenderloins, you really can’t go wrong.

Both filet mignon or whole cooked and roasted pieces are equally as flavorful and enjoyable, with some preferring the intricate cuts of filet mignon, while others prefer the more indulgent experience of an all-inclusive roast.

Difference between Tenderloin and Filet Mignon: Comparison Table

Table comparing Beef Tenderloin and Filet Mignon:

Here is a comparison table summarizing the key differences between tenderloin and filet mignon:

CriteriaTenderloinFilet Mignon
TypeLean, low-fatLean, higher fat
SizeLarger cut that includes filet mignonSmaller cut, ideal for single-serving meals
MarblingLess marbling due to smaller size and lower fat contentMore marbling, especially in prime grade beef
Cooking MethodBest cooked in oven on a roasting rack, can be pan-friedBriefly pan-fry or oven-bake over high heat for 2 minutes per side
Cooking TimeLonger due to larger size, but individual medallions cook quicklyCooks faster due to being boneless and low in fat content
AppearanceLong, slightly curved cut of meatSmaller, more even shape
Butchery StyleVaries depending on locationTraditional technique is to cut meat into sections, such as filet mignon at the front and châteaubriand in the middle
PriceTypically less expensive than filet mignonMore expensive, often considered a luxury cut


Note: Prime-grade beef refers to the highest grade of beef in the US, determined by marbling, age, and texture.

Comparison Video


Tenderloin vs. Filet Mignon Similarities

  • Both come from the same meat cut from the loin of a cow
  • Both are incredibly tender cuts of steak
  • Both are relatively lean and high in protein, with very little fat
  • Both can be cooked using a variety of methods

Is Filet Mignon Steak or Beef Tenderloin Better for Beef Wellington?

It really depends on your preferences. Filet mignon is often considered the more premium cut and its flavor profile stands out more in dishes like Beef Wellington when compared to beef tenderloin.

However, tenderloin has more fat and marbleization, resulting in a juicier texture that many people prefer. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference!

Which Is Better: Filet Mignon or Beef Tenderloin?

Again, the answer to this question is subjective. Filet mignon is generally considered a higher-end cut of steak due to its tenderness and flavor. However, beef tenderloin also provides a delicious and juicy steak experience with its larger size and thicker marbling.

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference—both types of steak make for an excellent meal!

Alternatives to the Whole Tenderloin and Filet Mignon

If you’re looking for something different from a whole tenderloin or filet mignon, there are plenty of other options to consider.

Beef short ribs, tri-tip steak and skirt steak are all excellent cuts of meat that provide a unique flavor profile with each bite. Additionally, chuck roast and brisket can also be cooked in various ways to achieve an amazing beefy flavor.

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FAQs About Beef Tenderloin Vs Filet Mignon

What is the difference between beef tenderloin and filet mignon?

Beef tenderloin is a larger, more rectangular cut of meat from the loin primal, while filet mignon is generally a smaller, circular cut taken from the center of the tenderloin.

Filet mignon is typically more expensive due to its higher fat content and premium flavor profile.

Which one is healthier?

Both beef tenderloin and filet mignon are very lean cuts of steak with similar nutrition profiles. However, due to its slightly higher fat content, filet mignon contains slightly more calories and saturated fat per serving.

Which one tastes better?

This ultimately depends on personal preference! Filet mignon has a richer flavor and texture due to the higher fat content, while beef tenderloin can provide more of an all-inclusive steak experience with its larger size and thicker marbling.

Which one is better for Beef Wellington?

Again, it depends on personal preference. Filet mignon provides a richer flavor profile that stands out in dishes like Beef Wellington, while beef tenderloin has juicier texture and more fat which some people prefer. Ultimately, it comes down to what you enjoy most!

Is tenderloin more tender than filet mignon?

Not necessarily. Both cuts of steak come from the same meat cut from the loin of a cow, and are incredibly tender. Filet mignon is generally considered to be more expensive due to its higher fat content which contributes to its flavor profile. However, both types of steak offer a delicious and enjoyable meal!

What is another name for filet mignon?

Filet mignon is sometimes referred to as a “petite tenderloin” or “filet of beef.” Additionally, it is sometimes referred to as a “deluxe steak” due to its premium flavor profile and higher fat content.

What else is beef tenderloin called?

Beef tenderloin is also sometimes referred to as a “tenderloin steak,” “filet mignon steak,” or simply “beef tender.” Additionally, the whole cut of beef that includes both the filet mignon and the rest of the tenderloin is sometimes referred to as a “strip loin.”

It is important to note that these are all interchangeable terms and refer to the same cut of beef.

Conclusion – Beef Tenderloin Vs Filet Mignon

At the end of the day, the debate between beef tenderloin vs filet mignon comes down to personal preference. Both cuts of steak provide an incredibly delicious and tender meal experience–it all depends on which flavor profile you prefer! Ultimately, either one is sure to make for a great dinner option.

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