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Pan sear filet mignon in a cast iron skillet once and you will NEVER grill it again (unless you HAVE to grill it), I promise. This method is very simple and locks in all of the juices and flavors. There are plenty of ways to cook filet mignon but this recipe is by far my favorite along with reverse searing. If you go out to a nice steakhouse then this is most likely the method they are using to cook your steak.
The overall consistency and predictability of this technique are what make this recipe work so well. I’ve followed it to the T with great success with hundreds of steaks. If you’ve ever overcooked an expensive cut of beef, then this recipe is for you.
How to Cook Filet Mignon
The secret to cooking the perfect filet mignon is to combine pan searing with an oven finish. Why is this the best way to cook filet mignon? This method gives your filet a golden caramelized exterior with a perfectly juicy and tender inside that’s evenly cooked throughout. A cast iron skillet allows you to easily transfer your steak from the stovetop to the oven, making this a really easy filet mignon recipe to master.
I’ve tried cooking filet mignon strictly on the stovetop for 6-7 minutes per side, but it tends to overcook the steak and sometimes burns the outside of your filet. The oven is better at providing indirect heat while pan-searing gives you the much desired, grilled, and slightly charred exterior.
How Long Should I Cook Filet Mignon?
Sear filets 2 minutes per side on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet on high heat with butter or oil and then immediately transfer to a preheated oven at 415°F. I typically bake filets for about 5-6 minutes for medium-rare. That’s the beauty of cast iron, you can easily transfer from stovetop to oven. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend picking one up.
Carefully timing your cook time for steak always yields consistent results. It may sound like overkill, but I use my phone to time each side on the skillet and then in the oven. If you really adhere to cooking times I promise you will never overcook a steak again.
Temperature For Steak
The timing/temperature chart below corresponds to the pan sear/oven method in this recipe. It’s a great guide assuming you choose a steak of similar size and thickness as listed in the recipe. I recommend a digital thermometer to verify your desired level of doneness.
|Doneness||Temperature Range||Oven Duration|
|Very Rare/rare||120°F to 125°F||4 minutes|
|Medium rare||125°F to 130°F||5-6 minutes|
|Medium||135°F to 140°F||6-7 minutes|
|Medium well||145°F to 150°F||8-9 minutes|
|Well done||160°F and above||10+ minutes|
SMOKE WARNING: Cooking steaks at high temps in a skillet tends to get smokey. Open a kitchen window and turn on your kitchen’s overhead vent fan before you start to help with ventilation.
Do I Need a Cast Iron Skillet?
Cast iron is really versatile and can be used for so many different recipes. Here is the one I have. Any oven-safe pan should do the trick, however, as a disclaimer, I based the cook times and results on cast iron. Not every pan will yield identical results.
If you don’t have an oven-safe pan, you sear your filets on the stovetop and then transfer them to a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. This method works really well at keeping your steaks elevated from the direct heat while in the oven. Just note, this will likely add additional baking time as described in the recipe and cooking chart above. Plan on 2-3 additional minutes in the oven.
How Long Should I Let Steaks Rest?
The legend, Anthony Bourdain once said, the most important aspect of cooking any steak is the rest period after you take it off the heat. Letting a steak rest for 5-7 minutes before cutting is critical for two reasons. One, it continues to actually cook the steak. Second, the juices evenly distribute throughout the meat, yielding the perfect bite every time. Always let your steaks rest!
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More Filet Mignon Recipes You’ll Love
- Filet with blueberry glaze
- Reverse seared steak
- Filet with red wine and balsamic reduction
- Bacon-wrapped filet mignon
- How to grill filet mignon
- Everything you need to know about sous vide steak
Pan-Seared Filet Mignon Recipe with Herb Butter
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: American
The only filet mignon recipe you will ever need. Never grill steak again—the fail-proof method to cooking the perfect filet mignon.
- 4 10-ounce thick tenderloin beef filets (roughly 1.5– 2 inches thick)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable or canola oil (can use 2 tbsp butter but it has a lower smoke point)
Garlic & Herb Butter
- 1/2 stick of butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
For the herb butter
- Soften the butter in a microwave-safe bowl until malleable, 10-15 seconds. Stir in herbs and garlic until fully mixed. Spoon the butter onto tin foil doing your best to reshape it to resemble a stick of butter. Place in refrigerator for about 10 minutes and remove 5 minutes before adding to the filet.
For the filets
- Preheat the oven to 415°F. Remove the steak from the fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking, this is to bring the steak to room temperature and ensure your cooking times are more accurate. Season all sides liberally with salt and pepper. This can be done while your steak comes to room temp.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to an oven-safe cast iron skillet and turn the heat up high, allowing the skillet to become very hot. Twirl the pan to distribute oil as it heats. Once the oil starts to smoke, place the filets face down and sear undisturbed for 2 minutes. Flip the filets and sear for an additional 2 minutes. This will give your filets a nice seared edge.
- Transfer your skillet directly to the oven. [WARNING] skillet may be hot, handle it with oven mitts. For rare, bake for 4 minutes. Medium rare, 5-6 minutes. Medium, 6-7 minutes. Medium well, 8-9 minutes. Remember, depending on the size of the steak, the more or less time it will take. This recipe is ideal for an 8-10 ounce portion, roughly 1.5-2 inches thick.
- Remove filets from the skillet and set them on a plate, lightly cover with foil, and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. This is important to bring your steak to its final serving temperature.
- Top with a slice of garlic and herb butter and serve.
Cooking steaks at high temps in a skillet tends to get smokey. Open a kitchen window and turn on your kitchen’s overhead vent fan before you start to help with ventilation.
If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet or pan, sear the steaks first and then transfer them to a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. This method works really well at keeping your steaks elevated from the direct heat source but will also add additional cooking time to your oven duration. Plan on 2-3 additional minutes.
Temperatures for steak
Rare: 120°F to 125°F
Medium rare: 125°F to 130°F
Medium: 135°F to 140°F
Medium well: 145°F to 150°F
Well done: 160°F and above
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 858
- Sugar: 0g
- Sodium: 552mg
- Fat: 67.5
- Saturated Fat: 31g
- Carbohydrates: 1.1g
- Fiber: 0.4g
- Protein: 55.4g
- Cholesterol: 233mg
Keywords: filet mignon, steak, tenderloin steak
Omg! I love you! Your my hero! I will never order filet mignon in a restaurant again. This is the only way to cook steaks. Better than anything I’ve ever done on the barbecue. Thank you so much! My daughter even said it’s the best steak she’s ever had in her life. A good cast iron skillet is a must.
I’ve just eaten what was surely by far the best steak I’ve ever prepared and prob the best I’ve ever eaten. I’ve used this method before but never had the time to allow it to come to room temp or to rest. I followed the steps and the result was a perfectly seared filet with just the right amount of crisp on the outside and and interior that was, literally, melt in the mouth. The herb butter was the perfect finish. I’ll never grill steak again. Thank you!
Excellent recipe! I found the timing spot on for cooking to different temperatures. For Easter dinner, I cooked eight filets. I used two pans; one for well done and another for medium. After searing both pans of filets, I butterflied one pan of four steaks. This allowed me to finish all eight pieces virtually at the same minute, half medium and half well done. I had extra herb butter and served that with baked potatoes…so tasty!
Definitely the best steaks i have ever cooked!! So excited to have a steak recipe i feel confident w
The times were perfect and steaks were tender and delicious! Thank you so much
If you’re cooking (4) Filets would you recommend searing them in the skillet 2 at a time or would you do all (4) together and if so, would you change anything regarding the cooking times? TIA for any guidance here!
sear all 4 at the same time. Be sure the skillet is very hot.
Shawn, you just leveled me up into FULL adulthood. I’m honored to have you as my meat-making steward. So far, I’m 5/5 = 100% win rate with your method and for this I am eternally grateful.
Seared for 2 minutes a side. Into the 415 degree oven for 5.5 minutes. Checked the internal temperature with a digital thermometer and it was…….82 degrees. These were 2 9oz. Filets. Had to put them back in the oven for another 4-5 minutes to get them to medium rare.