When diving into the steak world, learning a few things about the types of steak, their preparation techniques, origins, and differences is essential. Knowing more about the most popular steak types goes a long way towards cooking a better steak, improving your culinary experience, and avoiding awkward conversations in a restaurant.
Two of the most popular steaks are filet mignon and ribeye. They are both held in high regard by connoisseurs and chefs from around the world. However, what is the difference between filet mignon and a ribeye, and when would you choose one over the other?
We will discuss these two premium steak cuts separately and share some details regarding which part of the cow they come from, their texture, appearance, and more.
Ribeye or Filet Mignon: Which Is Better?
If you don’t know what type of steak to choose, walking up to the local butcher shop might be intimidating. To help you make better choices for dinner or BBQs with friends, we’ve compiled a few essential pieces of information to explain the similarities and differences between ribeye and filet mignon.
Filet Mignon Steak Overview
The name filet mignon translates to “cute filet.” It is a boneless cut of meat, thick but small in size, which makes it cute. You may also find it under the name medallions, tournedos, or tenderloin steak.
It has very little fat, which is perfect for food gurus who are watching their fat intake. The steak flavor is mild but one of the most tender compared to other popular steak cuts. Some will say that it is an incredibly tender steak that melts in your mouth.
The term filet mignon first appeared in an article by O. Henry in 1906.
Ribeye Steak Overview
The Ribeye steak has many nicknames, including market steak, beauty steak, Scotch filet, Entrecôte, and Spencer steak. You will find this amazing steak cut served in restaurants worldwide, especially in steakhouses, where it is one of the most popular meats on the menu. People love it for its tenderness and rich flavor.
It is a highly marbled piece of meat, with a large fat swath separating the longissimus. Cows aren’t flexible or active animals, but certain parts of their body still get a minimal workout from supporting such a large mass and moving around—the Ribeye steak doesn’t come from those spots. It is high in fat, making it one of the beefiest and richest cuts on the market.
Many people (especially meat lovers) consider the ribeye to be the tastiest cut on the cow.
Filet Mignon vs Ribeye
Where on The Cow Do Filet Mignon and Ribeye Steak Come From?
The ribeye steak, as implied by the name, comes from the rib section of the cow. This delicious steak cut comes from a part that covers ribs 6-12, which is the same area butchers cut prime rib and rib steak.
The filet is a small piece from a larger cut. It is found in the tenderloin’s center, a long muscle that covers the cow’s spine. From one tenderloin, one can cut around eight filets. Filets come in a circular shape and are smaller than other beef cuts.
How Much Fat Do Filet Mignon and Ribeye Steak Contain?
While the filet mignon is a small beef cut, it is pretty thick (around two inches in diameter). Even the smallest filet mignon is a lean cut, meaning there is not much fat and marbling like you will find in a ribeye cut.
Ribeye steaks are generously marbled, which add to the meat’s rich flavor and moisture. It is the highest fat steak cut available – a big ribeye piece may contain more than 50 grams of fat.
How Much Steak to Serve Per Person?
The ribeye steak contains around 190 calories per quarter pound. Depending on what else you ordered for your lunch or dinner, you may find 6 oz of ribeye enough for one adult.
The filet mignon is slightly less caloric at 170 calories per quarter pound. Anywhere from 6-8oz for a filet mignon is perfect per person. You can make the slices bigger or smaller, depending on how you prefer them.
How to Prepare and Cook Each Steak
When preparing a ribeye steak, make sure the cut isn’t thinner than one inch. You probably won’t need to do any additional trimming unless there are some fat sections you want to remove.
One of the best things about preparing a ribeye steak is that it is naturally tender, so there’s no need for a marinade. Only a bit of salt and pepper is enough to bring out the best of this beef cut.
Most people prefer cooking the ribeye steak on the grill. If you have a bigger grill in your backyard, that’s even better. Make sure one part is up to medium-high and the other at a lower flame. Once you set up the right temperature, place the ribeye steaks on the heat side, and let them cook for five minutes. After that, flip them over on the other side.
Trimming is also unnecessary when preparing a filet mignon. Depending on the flavor you prefer, you can either add some salt and pepper or a light marinade.
A filet mignon is best when grilled hot and fast on direct heat. Make sure you have a hotter and a cooler side on the grill. Sear each side for four minutes and then move the filet to the cooler side for an even better finish.
Both ribeye and filet mignon are easy to prepare and cook on the grill.
Difference in Cost
When you buy these two premium beef cuts from a butcher shop, the filet mignon is generally more expensive than the ribeye steak. When you order them in restaurants, the price is usually the same, depending on the steakhouse.
Whether you are a cooking enthusiast or you love steaks, we hope that our review of filet mignon vs. ribeye will help you decide what to try next. Either of these premium beef cuts will be an incredible experience, thanks to their tenderness and rich flavor.
The filet mignon is a synonym for fine dining, especially when coupled with good wine. Choose the ribeye for a casual dinner night with friends or for your next backyard barbecue gathering.