Mastering the Art of Knowing How Long to Cook Filet

If you’re a meat lover, you know the struggle of cooking a perfect filet. Thick and juicy, it’s one of the most beloved cuts of beef — but it’s also one that’s notoriously difficult to master. The trick is to cook it long enough to bring out the best flavors, but not so long that you end up with a dry, overcooked mess. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-timer, getting the timing just right can be a challenge. Fortunately, with a bit of practice and some helpful tips, you can learn to cook the perfect filet every time.

Mastering the Art of Knowing How Long to Cook Filet | Eat Urban Garden
Mastering the Art of Knowing How Long to Cook Filet

What is Filet?

Filet is a type of meat that comes from the tenderloin area of various animals, including beef, pork, lamb, and fish. It is known for its tenderness and mild flavor, making it a popular choice for many dishes.

Different Types of Filet

There are several types of filet, and each one comes from a different part of the animal:

  • Beef Tenderloin Filet – This is the most popular type of filet and comes from the loin of a cow.
  • Pork Tenderloin Filet – This is a lean and tender cut that comes from the loin of a pig.
  • Lamb Tenderloin Filet – This tender cut usually comes from the loin or back of the lamb.
  • Fish Filet – Fish filets are cut from the sides of the fish and are deboned before cooking.

Recommended Cut for Cooking

The recommended cut for cooking filet depends on the type of animal it comes from. For beef, the most popular cuts are the center-cut and the butt-end. The center-cut is more expensive but is known for its exceptional tenderness and flavor. On the other hand, the butt-end is less expensive but can be tough if not cooked correctly.

As for pork filet, the only recommended cut is the tenderloin. It is the most tender and flavorful part of the loin and is best cooked medium-rare.

For lamb filet, the most recommended cut is the loin filet. It is a tender and flavorful cut that can be cooked rare to medium-rare.

When it comes to fish filets, the recommended cut depends on the type of fish. Some fish, like salmon, have thicker filets and can be cut into steaks for grilling or broiling. Other fish, like tilapia, have thinner filets and can be pan-fried or baked.

What Factors Affect Cooking Time for Filet?

When it comes to cooking filet, there are several factors that can affect how long it takes to cook it to perfection. Here are some of the key factors that impact cooking time:


The thickness of the filet plays a major role in determining how long it takes to cook it. Thicker filets will take longer to cook, while thinner ones will cook more quickly.

  • If you have a thick filet, you should consider using a lower temperature and allowing it more time to cook to ensure that the inside is fully cooked without burning the outside.
  • If you have a thinner filet, you can use a higher temperature and cook it for less time to achieve perfectly cooked meat without overcooking it.


The temperature of the grill or oven is also a key factor in determining how long it takes to cook a filet. Higher temperatures will cook the meat more quickly, while lower temperatures will take longer.

  • Grilling: For grilling filet, use high heat. Preheat your grill to 450°F to 550°F, then place the meat on the grill for roughly 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness and desired level of doneness.
  • Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F. Bake the filet for 8-10 minutes or until the desired level of doneness is achieved.

Grill or Oven

The cooking time for a filet can also vary depending on whether you choose to cook it on the grill or in the oven. These methods of cooking require different techniques and tools, so it’s important to adjust your cooking time accordingly.

  • Grilling: Grilling is a great way to cook filet when you want to achieve a nice, smoky flavor. Use a high heat, and flip the steak every 2-3 minutes until it reaches a desired temperature.
  • Oven: If you prefer to cook filet in the oven, it’s important to note that it may take slightly longer than grilling. You’ll typically need to cook the meat for around 8-10 minutes per side, depending on thickness.

Fresh or Frozen

The state of the filet before you begin cooking it can also affect cooking time. Fresh filets may cook more quickly, while frozen filets will take longer.

  • If you’re cooking a frozen filet, make sure it is fully thawed before cooking, as this will impact cooking time. Allow the steak to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
  • If you’re working with fresh filet, adjust your cooking time accordingly so that you do not overcook the meat.

By keeping these factors in mind, you’ll be able to master the art of knowing how long to cook filet and achieve perfectly cooked meat every time!

How to Determine the Right Cooking Time for Filet?

Filet mignon, also known as beef tenderloin, is a popular cut of meat that is loved for its juicy and tender texture. While it is a delicious cut of meat, it can be tricky to cook due to its lean nature. Cooking it for too long can result in a dry and tough texture, while undercooking it can leave it unappetizing and raw.

Tip 1: Use a meat thermometer

The safest and most accurate way to determine the ideal cooking time for your filet is by using a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the steak, taking care not to touch any bones. Cook your filet until it reaches the desired temperature, according to the thermometer. Here are the different temperatures of doneness:

  • Rare: 125°F
  • Medium rare: 130°F – 135°F
  • Medium: 135°F – 140°F
  • Medium well: 145°F – 150°F
  • Well done: 160°F – 165°F

Tip 2: Rely on visual cues

If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can rely on visual cues to determine when your filet is cooked to your liking. Use a pair of tongs and gently press the steak with your finger. If the steak feels springy and soft, it’s rare. If it feels tender but slightly firm, it’s medium rare. If it feels firm and slightly springy, it’s medium. If it feels very firm and has no spring at all, it’s well done.

Tip 3: Understanding the difference between rare, medium rare, and well done

Understanding the difference between rare, medium rare, and well done can help you determine the ideal cooking time for your filet. Rare is the coolest temperature at which to eat the meat, while well done will have almost no pink center. Medium rare is a popular choice as it provides the right balance between a soft, pink center and a well-seared exterior.

Remember, a little pink in the center of your filet is perfectly fine and adds to the juiciness of the meat.

What are the Best Techniques for Cooking Filet?

Filet is a popular steak cut due to its tenderness and delicate flavor. While it may be expensive, mastering how to cook filet can be a culinary game-changer. Here are some of the best techniques for cooking filet:


Pan-searing is an excellent technique for achieving a crispy crust and a juicy center. Heat a cast-iron skillet until it’s smoking hot. Brush the filet with some oil and season it with salt and pepper. Place the steak in the skillet and cook it for 3-4 minutes on each side until it’s brown on the outside and rare on the inside. Let the steak rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.


Grilling filet can be a delicious and healthier option. Preheat the grill to high heat. Brush the steak with oil and season it with your favorite spices. Place the filet on the grill and cook it for 3-4 minutes on each side until it’s charred and medium-rare. Don’t forget to rest the steak for a few minutes before slicing it.

Oven Roasting

Oven roasting is a classic technique that can be perfect for larger filet cuts. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the steak on a rack in a roasting pan and season it with salt and pepper. Roast the filet for 20-25 minutes until it reaches the desired doneness. Use a meat thermometer to check if it’s cooked to your liking. Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Sous Vide

Sous vide is a modern technique that can be ideal for the precise cooking of filets. Season the steak with salt, pepper, and herbs, and place it in a vacuum-sealed bag. Set the sous vide machine to the desired temperature and cook the filet for 1-2 hours. Remove the steak from the bag and sear it on a hot skillet for a few seconds on each side. Let the steak rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

How to Prepare Filet for Cooking?

Filet mignon is a popular and tender steak that is a classic favorite and perfect for special occasions or a fancy dinner. Here are some tips on how to prepare filet for cooking:

1. Bring Filet to Room Temperature

Bring the filet mignon to room temperature by taking it out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes before cooking. This will help the steak cook evenly throughout.

2. Properly Seasoning Filet

Season the filet with salt and pepper, and also consider adding some herbs or spices to add extra flavor. Rub the seasoning into the steak to ensure it sticks and doesn’t fall off while cooking.

3. Trimming the Excess Fat or Silver Skin

Remove any excess fat or silver skin on the filet. Fat can cause flare-ups on the grill, and silver skin can make the steak tough. Use a sharp knife to trim it off, being careful not to remove too much of the meat.

4. Preheat Grill or Broiler

If you plan to grill or broil the filet, preheat your grill or broiler. This is important to get the high heat needed to sear the steak and create that delicious crusty exterior while keeping a juicy tender pink inside.

5. Let Filet Rest

After cooking, let the steak rest for at least five minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and create a moister, more flavorful steak.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Filet?

Cooking a perfect filet can be challenging, but avoiding these common mistakes can make a big difference:

1. Not Using Enough Salt and Pepper

Seasoning the meat before cooking is crucial because it adds flavor. Many people make the mistake of not using enough salt and pepper, which makes the meat bland and tasteless.

2. Overheating the Grill or Oven

Cooking filet at high heat can make it tough and dry. It is important to preheat the grill or oven to the right temperature and then cook the meat over medium-high heat to get those perfect grill marks and a juicy interior.

3. Not Letting the Meat Rest Before Serving

Resting the meat before cutting into it allows the juices to redistribute and settle, making it juicier and more flavorful. Many people make the mistake of cutting into the meat right after cooking, which causes all the juices to leak out and the meat to become dry.

4. Overcooking or Undercooking the Meat

Cooking filet to the perfect temperature requires practice. Overcooking the meat can make it dry and tough, while undercooking can make it chewy and raw. Using a meat thermometer can help you get the perfect temperature every time.

5. Cutting into the Meat to Check for Doneness

Poking or cutting into the meat to check for doneness causes all the juices to leak out, making the meat dry. Instead, use a meat thermometer to check for doneness without poking or cutting into the meat.

6. Not Letting the Meat Reach Room Temperature

Taking the meat out of the fridge and cooking it immediately can result in uneven cooking. It is better to let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking, which helps it cook more evenly.

Happy Cooking!

Cooking filet can be a daunting task for some, but with the right approach, it can be a breeze. Follow the guidelines provided above, and you’ll never have to worry about overcooking or undercooking your filet again. Whether you prefer it rare, medium-rare, or medium, the key is to ensure that the temperature is right. Remember to use a meat thermometer, adjust the cooking time accordingly, and let your steak rest before slicing it. Happy cooking!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *