Ribeye vs Filet Mignon – What’s the Difference?

There’s something about the right cut of steak at the right time that just hits the spot. Paired with the right ingredients (and perhaps a well chosen red wine) a quality steak can elevate any meal. Depending on your needs and preferences there are a wide range of cuts available to suit almost any occasion. But which is the best choice for your meal? To help you decide, in this article we’ll be taking a look at two popular cuts of steak: ribeye vs filet mignon.

When you picture a high quality steak, the firs thing that comes to mind will often be filet mignon. This is a popular steak and often served in fancy restaurants, at important events and special occasions. It is one of the most tender cuts of steak and typically the most expensive to buy at the grocery store.

Let’s take a closer look and see whether ribeye or filet is the best steak for you.

Where Does Ribeye Steak Come From?

As the name suggests, ribeye steak comes from the rib area of the cow. This area tends to produce fatty beef, with lots of marbling. The marbling is due to the location’s proximity to the head and neck. These muscles are used infrequently, which makes the meat more tender.

Steaks cut from ribs six and twelve are considered the best quality. It’s from this area that prime rib is taken. However, ribeye steaks aren’t always cut from this ‘prime’ area and can also be taken from lower quality rib areas. The quality of the ribs the steaks are cut from has an impact on the price you’ll pay for ribeye steaks.

Where Does Filet Mignon Come From?

Filet steaks are cut from the cow’s lower middle back. Meat cut from this area is incredibly tender as this muscle is one of the cow’s least used muscles. Generally steak is about 1 ½ inches thick. This kind of steak contains very little fat. It is a lean cut.

A filet steak comes from the loin, which is considered the most tender muscle. Filet steak is often called beef tenderloin. Another steak that comes from this area is filet mignon. This is widely considered to be the best kind of steak.

What is the Difference Between Ribeye vs Filet Mignon?

Let’s consider the differences between ribeye and filet. These two steaks have a number of key differences. The cost, flavor, texture, fat levels, and best cooking methods differentiate each cut. How you feel about each of these qualities will determine which steak is the best choice for you.

Cost of Ribeye vs Filet Mignon

Ribeye steak is more affordable than filet steak. The average cost of ribeye ranges between twelve and fifteen dollars per pound. If you’re lucky, it can even occasionally be found priced at as little as ten dollars per pound. As a rule ribeye steaks from the prime rib area will be more expensive.

In comparison, filet mignon is much more expensive. One of the main reasons for the higher cost is because the cow has very little muscle to create this steak. Each cow produces roughly two kilograms of this muscle. The price of filet mignon varies between fifteen and twenty-four dollars per pound. The recommended serving size is ½ pound per person.

Flavor of Ribeye vs Filet Mignon

A ribeye steak is more flavorful than filet steak. This is due to the drastic difference in fat content. When it comes to beef, the fat makes the flavor. Ribeye steak is so plentiful in fat content, that it can baste in its own juices.

Fillet steak offers much less fat. To ensure the steak retains its juices through the cooking process, the steak should not be overcooked. Another way to encourage maximum flavor in a fillet steak is to not cut into the steak. Follow the cooking instruction and fight the urge to cut the steak in order to check it’s level of doneness.

Texture of Ribeye vs Filet Mignon

As we’ve said, the ribeye steak contains plenty of flavorful fat, while being easy to cut and tender. On the other hand filet mignon is very lean. It contains very small amounts of fat but is the most tender cut of meat. The steak’s tender texture and small muscle mass are what determines the steep pricing.

Ribeye is much more affordable, contains much more fat, but is less tender than the fillet steak. The fillet steak definitely has a more tender texture than a ribeye steak. Many people prefer the ‘cuts like butter’ texture and thus the fillet steaks texture is better than a ribeye.

Fat Levels of Ribeye vs Filet Mignon

The ribeye blows the fillet out of the water when it comes to fat levels. The fat content of a steak determines the amount of savory juices. The juices carry much of the steaks flavor. It is important to note the fat content of a steak. This is because it plays a large role in determining the cooking method used.

Filet Mignon contains very little fat and produces minimal amounts of juice. The steak does, however, pack a punch of beefy flavor. This beefy flavor and optimal tenderness are often preferred among steak eaters.

Cooking Ribeye vs Filet Mignon

There are a few things to note while cooking these steak cuts. The fillet, in particular, needs attention while cooking. Overcooking this tender piece of meat will result in little to no juice. It is also important to resist the urge to check the center of the steak. Cutting into it will allow the juices to escape. Fillet steak is great for seasoning. The steak still has an incredible beefy flavor but lacks the flavor created by the juice. This makes it a great contestant for those amazing steak seasonings.

Ribeye is a lot simpler to make. The steak is full of juice and bursting with flavor. It could use a little salt and pepper, but it doesn’t require any other seasonings. Cook for roughly four minutes on each side for a medium done steak.

Ribeye vs Filet Mignon – Which is better?

The answer depends on who you ask. Fillet steak is typically considered to be the best steak. The meat is so tender that it cuts like butter. The steak is more expensive, which is often associated with better quality and flavor. This type of steak holds very little juice, however, and is not as flavorful as a ribeye.

Ribeye is much less expensive and loaded with incredible flavor. The high-fat content can be an issue for some people. Ribeye steak has large amounts of fat. This is a good thing if you like strong flavors. Some people cut the fat off their steak and set it aside, so a large amount of fat can seem wasteful.

Difference in cooking methods

Filet mignon and ribeye steaks can be cooked the same way, but that doesn’t mean that they should be! Filet mignon lacks the abundance in juices that the ribeye has to offer. When cooking steak on a grill, the juices tend to leak. Grilling a fillet steak would result in the loss of its precious juices. Ribeye on the other hand is the perfect steak for grilling.

Filet mignon is delicious when cooked on the stovetop. It sears particularly well when oil is warmed before adding the steak. It’s also very easy to keep an eye on fillet steak when it is being cooked on the stovetop. It can be easily seasoned as needed and monitored to ensure that it is not overcooked.