Unveiling Cuts: Is Tenderloin Steak the Same as Filet Mignon

Written by: Samir P.



Time to read 5 min


When indulging in a sumptuous steak dinner, "tenderloin steak" and "filet mignon" are often interchangeably on menus and in butcher shops. However, there's a subtle yet important distinction between these two cuts of beef that goes beyond mere semantics—Is Tenderloin Steak the Same as Filet Mignon? You enhance your appreciation of their flavors and cooking techniques. Let's dive into the world of these premium cuts of beef to uncover what sets them apart and what makes each unique.

Tenderloin Steak vs. Filet Mignon

Tenderloin Steak

  • The tenderloin is a specific cut of beef that comes from the animal's loin, situated near the spine. It's one of the most tender cuts due to its location and relatively low connective tissue. The tenderloin itself is a sizeable primal cut that extends across the spine of the steer or cow, and it's from this large cut that various more minor cuts, including the filet mignon, are derived.
  • Tenderloin steaks can be cut from different parts of the tenderloin, resulting in varying sizes and shapes. The key characteristic of tenderloin steaks is their tenderness, which makes them highly sought after for their melt-in-your-mouth texture. They are typically lean and have a mild flavor compared to other cuts of beef.

Filet Mignon

  • Filet mignon, on the other hand, refers specifically to a steak cut from the smaller end of the tenderloin. It's renowned for its supreme tenderness and subtle flavor. Filet mignon steaks are typically cylindrical in shape and are prized for their fine texture. The name "filet mignon" is derived from French, meaning "tender fillet" or "dainty fillet," underscoring its delicate nature and esteemed status among beef cuts.
  • Filet mignon steaks are often characterized by their lack of fat marbling, which contributes to their tenderness but can also affect their flavor profile compared to cuts with more intramuscular fat (like ribeye or New York strip steaks). Despite its leanness, filet mignon remains a favorite among steak enthusiasts for its buttery texture and the way it effortlessly melts in your mouth.
Tenderloin Steak vs. Filet Mignon

Preparation and Cooking - Is Tenderloin Steak the Same as Filet Mignon?

Regarding preparing and cooking tenderloin steak versus filet mignon, despite their shared origin from the tenderloin cut, notable differences are influenced by their size, shape, and fat content.

Tenderloin Steaks:

Tenderloin steaks are generally larger and thicker than filet mignon. Depending on where they are cut from the tenderloin, they can vary in shape and size. Due to their size, tenderloin steaks can be cooked individually or as a whole roast.

Cooking Methods:

Popular methods for cooking tenderloin steaks include grilling, pan-searing, or roasting. These methods are chosen to bring out the tenderness of the meat while developing a flavorful crust on the outside. Because tenderloin steaks are leaner than other cuts, they are prone to drying out if overcooked. Therefore, it's crucial to monitor the cooking time closely and aim for a medium-rare to medium doneness to maintain juiciness and tenderness.


Tenderloin steaks benefit from simple seasonings such as salt and pepper to enhance their natural flavors. Some chefs prefer to add a light marinade or a compound butter after cooking to complement the steak's mild taste without overpowering it.

Filet Mignon:

Filet mignon, in contrast, is more petite and more uniformly cylindrical than other cuts from the tenderloin. It is known for its exceptional tenderness and subtle flavor profile.

Cooking Methods:

  • Filet mignon is often cooked quickly at high heat to achieve a seared exterior while maintaining a tender and juicy interior. Standard cooking methods include pan-searing or grilling. The goal is to develop a caramelized crust on the outside while keeping the inside rare to medium-rare. 
  • Overcooking can quickly diminish its tenderness and result in a dry texture.


  • Similarly, filet mignon is best seasoned simply with salt and pepper to allow its delicate flavor to shine through. Sauces like béarnaise or mushroom sauce are popular accompaniments that complement rather than overpower the steak.
  • In summary, while tenderloin steaks and filet mignon share the common attribute of tenderness, their preparation and cooking methods differ due to their size, shape, and fat content. Mastering these techniques ensures that each cut is enjoyed to its fullest potential, delivering a memorable dining experience at home or in a fine dining establishment.
Preparation and Cooking - Tenderloin Steak and Filet Mignon

Culinary Versatility and Pairings

While prized for their tenderness and delicate flavor, tenderloin steaks and filet mignon offer distinct culinary versatility and pairings that cater to various tastes and dining experiences.

Tenderloin Steaks:

  • Tenderloin steaks, sourced from different parts of the tenderloin, vary in size and shape but share a common attribute: exceptional tenderness. Their lean profile makes them ideal for a range of cooking methods. Grilling tenderloin steaks enhances their natural flavors and develops a caramelized crust while pan-searing ensures a juicy interior.
  • These steaks can also be roasted whole for an impressive centerpiece or sliced into medallions for dishes like beef stroganoff or stir-fries. Their versatility extends to being used in beef Wellington or as the tender base in hearty stews and braises.
  • Pairing options for tenderloin steaks often complement their mild flavor and tender texture. They pair beautifully with sauces like mushroom cream and peppercorn. Sides such as roasted vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes, or even a light salad balance the richness of the steak.

Filet Mignon:

  • Filet mignon, prized for its supreme tenderness and subtle taste, often serves as a luxurious main course. Its smaller size and cylindrical shape lend themselves well to quick cooking methods such as pan-searing or grilling over high heat. Filet mignon is typically rare to medium-rare to preserve its buttery texture and delicate flavor. It pairs exceptionally well with rich sauces like béarnaise or bordelaise, enhancing its decadent appeal.
  • Accompaniments for filet mignon are chosen to complement its refined taste. Classic pairings include roasted asparagus, wild mushrooms, or a gratin dauphinois.
Culinary Versatility and Pairings - Tenderloin Steak and Filet Mignon

Your Butcher Shop

Welcome to your favorite butcher shop. We carry custom cuts of beef, chicken, lamb, goat, grass-fed beef, wagyu, deli, and more. We ship across the United States in 1-2 business days.


In conclusion, while tenderloin steak and filet mignon originate from the beef tenderloin cut, they differ. Tenderloin steak refers to any steak cut from the tenderloin, whereas filet mignon specifically denotes a steak cut from the smaller end. Each cut has its characteristics regarding tenderness, flavor profile, and culinary versatility.

Whether you prefer the more enormous, more adaptable tenderloin steaks or the more petite, exquisitely tender filet mignon, understanding their distinctions can enrich your culinary adventures from selecting the perfect cut at the butcher to mastering the art of cooking it to perfection, exploring, Is beef tenderloin steak the same as filet mignon opens up a realm of gourmet possibilities that will satisfy even the most discerning steak lovers.

Select the type of Qurbani (Udhiyah) you want to do

Local Overseas

Local:You will receive meat. You can choose from Goat or Lamb.
Overseas:You will not receive meat. It will be distributed to the needy.
We are offering Cow or Buffalo Qurbani overseas. Price per share is $99.
Please rememeber you will not receive share of the cow meat. If you want the share of the Qurbani meat, then choose Local Qurbani.

- +

Start Over Button Start over
- +

Do you want us to distribute the meat?

How do you want the Qurbani meat to be cut?

start over button Start over