How to Grill Filet Mignon Steaks

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This indulgent restaurant-level steak is one of the summer's best dinners. If you want to make it even better, make the optional Parmesan Butter to melt over the top!

Grilled filet mignon on cutting board.

Sumptuously tender filet mignon steak is one of the most lusted-after cuts of beef available. The Parmesan Butter used at the end of this recipe to top the meat is optional, but it is easy to make and adds an extra layer of flavor that enhances the rich flavor and juicy tender texture of the meat. Filet mignon may also be called a tenderloin steak, filet steak, tenderloins, or a filet de boeuf. It’s round in shape, and it is relatively compact and thick. Filet mignon comes from the smaller end of the beef tenderloin, and it lends itself perfectly to grilling.

People love filet mignon because it is both fairly lean and extremely tender (and in the U.S., tenderness is one of the most sought-after qualities in a beef steak). The flavor is very buttery and mild. It’s a pricy cut of steak, but fans know that it’s well worth it. As for side dishes — there are so many options for a grilled filet mignon! Think about Loaded Spinach Salad, French Potato Salad, Baby Zucchini Gratin, or Spicy Cole Slaw.

Outdoor table setting featuring plate with grilled filet mignon, cole slaw, and grilled eggplant.

Grilled Filet Mignon Recipe: This indulgent restaurant-level steak is one of the summer’s best dinners (especially with the Parmesan Butter!)

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Ingredients for Grilled Filet Mignon Steaks

This filet mignon recipe uses a very simple steak seasoning. If you want to bump up the flavor, make the compound butter to melt over the steaks at the end.

For the Steaks:

  • Filet mignon steaks – One of the most loved steaks ever. See below for everything you need to know about choosing the best filet mignons.
  • Olive oil – Adds a bit of flavor and keeps the steak from sticking to the grill.
  • Salt and pepper – Season to taste.
Seasoned raw filet mignon steaks on parchment paper outside.

For the optional Parmesan Butter:

  • Parmesan cheese – It’s worth grating fresh Parm for this special dinner.
  • Unsalted butter – So you can control the amount of salt. Again, use the best butter you can find.
  • Fresh parsley – I prefer flat-leaf parsley.
  • Fresh garlic Mince the garlic finely so it blends well into the softened butter.

Kitchen Smarts

Most people who love filet mignon like it on the rarer side. Keep that in mind as you grill the steaks. The thickness of the steak, rather than the overall weight, is what will impact the grilling timing of the steaks. 

How to Grill Filet Mignon

  1. Make the Parmesan butter (if using):  In a small bowl, combine the butter, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper. Shape the butter into a log about 1 inch thick using plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm.
  2. Season the steaks: Rub the steaks with the olive oil, and season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides. 
Seasoned raw filet mignon steaks on paper at cookout.
  1. Grill the steaks: Place the steaks on a hot grill (this recipe works with a gas grill or a charcoal grill) pre-heated to medium-high grill for about 10 to 14 until cooked to your liking (see below for directions on how to get those appealing cross-hatch grill marks).
Round filet mignon steaks cooking on hot, smoky grill.
  1. Finish with butter, if desired, and serve: Place a slice of the Parmesan Butter on the top of each steak and let it melt as the steak sits for 5 minutes. Serve the steaks whole or sliced.
Grilled filet mignon steaks with dollop of garlic-parmesan compound butter on cutting board.

How to Buy Filet Mignon

In all cases, but especially when you are splurging on a pricier cut of steak, go for the best grade of beef available that is within your budget. The grade of meat is determined by a number of factors, including the age of the cow, the amount of marbling, and other characteristics. 

Fresh filet mignon will be a vibrant red with no browning. You can (and should) ask the butcher to cut fresh steaks if possible. Obviously, avoid meat with any “off” or unpleasant odor.

If you can find USDA Prime, that’s the top of the line when it comes to meat available to the consumer. You will likely only find Prime grade meat at a good butcher or a very high-end grocery store. About 2% of the beef in the U.S. qualifies as Prime, so it’s not all that easy to find, and it’s quite pricey.

USDA prime filet mignons are a deep red and have some marbling throughout, though not as much as other cuts of steak, like ribeyes or NY strip steaks. However, despite the lack of notable marbling, these are the tenderest steaks around. If you see some with more pronounced marbling, go for those!

USDA Choice is the second-best grade of meat and the one that you should look for in most markets. It will yield a very tender and flavorful steak. The grade Select is below Choice, which can be quite lean and not all that tender. You should take care not to overcook, which will result in a tougher steak. It’s really not worth buying a Choice filet mignon unless you have no choice. 

How Long to Grill Filet Mignon Over Direct High Heat

Meat continues to cook a bit after it is removed from the heat, which is called carryover cooking. It’s very important to let the meat sit before cutting it, or the juices will run out of the meat onto the cutting board, and you will be really sad that your pricey filet mignons are not as juicy and tender as they should be!

Filet mignon steaks cooking on smoky grill.

These cooking time guidelines and internal temperatures factor in that the temperature of the meat will continue to climb by several degrees once the steak comes off the grill and rests. These are the temperatures that you should use to know when to pull steak from the grill and let it sit for 5 minutes on a cutting board. Buy yourself a good meat thermometer! I like this thermometer from ThermoWorks, which is small, reasonably priced, and terrifically accurate.

Most cooks prefer filet mignons between 1 1/2 and 2 inches thick, but here are cooking times for filets of varying thicknesses.

ThicknessDonenessTime
1/2-inch thickRare (125 F) 1-2 minutes per side
1/2-inch thickMedium Rare (130 F)2-3 minutes per side
1/2-inch thickMedium (135 F)3-4 minutes per side
1/2-inch thickMedium-Well (140-145 F)4-5 minutes per side
1-inch thickRare (125 F)  3-4 minutes per side
1-inch thick Medium Rare (130 F)4-6 minutes per side
1-inch thickMedium (135 F) 6-8 minutes per side
1-inch thick Medium-Well (140-145 F)8-10 minutes per side
1-1/2 inches thick Rare (125 F)5-6 minutes per side
1-1/2 inches thickMedium Rare (130 F)6-8 minutes per side
1-1/2 inches thick Medium (135 F)8-9 minutes per side
1-1/2 inches thickMedium-Well (140-145 F)9-11 minutes per side
Cooking times and temperatures for filet mignon based on thickness.

Testing Steaks for Doneness Without a Meat Thermometer

  • For Rare: Your meat should be red and just warm in the center. It will feel squishy and soft when poked with a finger.
  • For Medium-Rare: The meat will still be red in the center, but the steak will be hot throughout. It will be yielding but not squishy when you poke it.
  • For Medium: The meat will be pink in the center but not red. It will yield gently when poked but have firmness.
  • For Medium-Well: Medium-well steaks will have a slightly grayish center with some pink right in the middle. It should feel fairly firm when poked but not hard. 
  • For Well-Done: Most steak lovers aren’t interested in well-done meat, but if you are, you’re looking for meat without any pinkness, that is brownish gray all the way through. It will feel quite firm.

FAQs

What size filet mignon per person?

One 7- to 8-ounce filet mignon will amply feed a single person, maybe with some leftovers. Because filets are often served whole, as a single-cut steak, it’s harder to adjust the serving size. Most filet mignons are 1 to 2 inches thick, and the thicker they are, the narrower they might be in diameter.

You could slice the steaks and let people serve themselves the amount they want, but the dramatic presentation of a single filet on a plate is very impressive.

How can I keep filet mignons perfectly round on the grill?

Use a piece of cooking twine to wrap the filets around the circumference to help them hold their shape. Remove the string before serving, but after the steaks have rested for a minute or two.

Why do you add compound butter to steaks?

Compound butter is added to the top of steaks right after they come off the grill (or from the heat). The heat from the steaks will melt the butter, and the seasoned butter adds additional flavor and tenderness to the steaks (not that filet mignons need more tenderness — they are plenty tender already!).

How to Get Perfect Cross-Hatch Grill Marks

This is most successful with thicker filet mignon steaks, as thinner steaks might overcook by the time you get those nice cross-hatch marks. For thinner steaks, one flip in the middle of the cooking time will do.

  1. First, make sure you have cleaned the grill well. And make sure the grill is hot.
  2. Place the steaks on the hot grill. Grill for about 4 minutes. Rotate the steaks a quarter turn (90 degrees). You are looking to create diamond patterns with the grill marks. Cook for 4 more minutes.
  3. Flip the filets and grill them for another 3 or 4 minutes, then after a few minutes, turn the steaks another quarter turn (90 degrees) so that the grill marks form the same diamond crosshatch pattern on the other side. After another 3 or 4 minutes, or when the steak is done to your liking, remove the filets from the grill.
Cooked filet mignon steaks with cross-hatch grill marks on cutting board.

Storage and Leftovers

Raw filet mignons can be stored in their original packaging in the fridge for up to 4 days if the steaks you have purchased are very fresh.

To freeze uncooked steaks, remove them from their packaging immediately after you get them home and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Transfer the steaks into freezer-proof zipper top bags, press out any excess air, then seal the bags. Freeze the meat for 9 months in the bag, labeled with the name of the steaks and the date you purchased them. Defrost in the fridge overnight, not at room temperature.

Leftover cooked steak should be good to go for 3 to 4 days. It would be great on a Caesar Salad, in a quesadilla, or sliced up in a sandwich.

What to Serve With Grilled Filet Mignon

Slices of grilled filet mignon on picnic table with sides of grilled eggplant, cole slaw, and other sides.

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5 from 1 vote

How to Grill a Filet Mignon Steak

This indulgent restaurant-level steak is one of the summer's best dinners. If you want to make it even better, make the optional Parmesan Butter to melt over the top!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 People
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Equipment

Ingredients 

For the Parmesan Butter (optional):

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (plus more for seasoning the steak)
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (plus more for seasoning the steak)

For the Filet Mignon:

  • 4 filet mignon steaks (1 ½ to 2 inches thick; 6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Instructions 

  • Make the Parmesan Butter (if using): In a small bowl, combine the butter, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper. Use a fork to mash the mixture until it is well combined. Turn the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and use the plastic to shape the butter into a log about 1 inch thick, and then roll up the log and seal it. Refrigerate until firm.
  • Grill the Steaks: Preheat the grill to medium-high. Rub the steaks with the olive oil, and season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides. Place the steaks on the grill and let sit, without moving for 4 minutes. Rotate the steaks a quarter turn and let them cook for another 3 minutes. Flip the steaks, and repeat: cook the steak for 4 minutes without moving, then rotate the steak a quarter turn and let it grill for another 3 to 4 minutes, until you get those nice cross-hatched marks. Remove the steaks from the grill when the internal temperature is at 120 F for rare, 125 F for medium-rare, and 130 F for medium. The temperature will continue to climb for a few degrees as the meat rests before you slice it.
  • Meanwhile, cut the chilled butter into 4 slices. Place a slice on the top of each steak and let it melt as the steak sits for 5 minutes. Give the top of the steak a nice grind of pepper, if desired. Serve the steaks whole or sliced.

Notes

How to Test for Doneness Without a Meat Thermometer
  • For Medium-Rare: The meat will still be red in the center, but the steak will be hot throughout. It will be yielding but not squishy when you poke it.
  • For Medium: The meat will be pink in the center but not red. It will yield gently when poked but have firmness.
  • For Medium-Well: Medium-well steaks will have a slightly grayish center with some pink right in the middle. It should feel fairly firm when poked but not hard. 
  • For Well-Done: Most steak lovers aren’t interested in well-done meat, but if you are, you’re looking for meat without any pinkness, that is brownish gray all the way through. It will feel quite firm.

Nutrition

Calories: 640kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 56g, Saturated Fat: 24g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 24g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 151mg, Sodium: 420mg, Potassium: 535mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.02g, Vitamin A: 457IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 4mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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