While some chefs find that filet mignon lacks flavor, it’s excellent when cooked over a charcoal fire. The trouble is, it can be hard for the average griller to fit it into their budget. What’s the typical filet mignon price, and is there any way to get a good deal on it?
Filet Mignon Price
Filet mignon runs about $20 to $25 per pound on average. The exact price depends on the current market, as well as location. For example, beef will usually be cheaper in areas that have a high cattle production rate. You can save money by looking for deals in your local supermarket or purchasing a whole tenderloin and carving it into steaks yourself.
What Is Filet Mignon?
The filet mignon comes from the portion of the steak known as the tenderloin. Cut from the loin primal, the tenderloin runs through the short loin and the sirloin. As the name suggests, it’s one of the most tender cuts you can buy. Since it represents only about 3 percent of the steer, it’s one of the priciest as well.
Why is the meat so tender? It’s because it comes from a non-weight bearing muscle, which means it doesn’t get much exercise. That keeps the muscles from toughening up, in contrast to a cut like brisket, which is responsible for holding up the majority of the animal’s weight.
Filet mignon is also a very lean cut, so it doesn’t have the beefy flavor of a well-marbled steak like ribeye. However, that makes it a superb partner for herb butters and savory sauces, like the béarnaise in the recipe included below. Some butchers will also wrap the steaks in bacon to contribute flavor and richness.
Average Filet Mignon Price
As we mentioned, filet mignon isn’t cheap. On average, shoppers will spend $20 to $25 per pound on this precious commodity. In some regions, like the midwestern US, the steaks may be cheaper owing to the high cattle production in the area. By contrast, if you live in a remote place like Hawaii, you can expect to pay a great deal more.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the per-pound cost of choice cuts like tenderloin went way down. That’s because many of these cuts are sold to restaurants, which were forced to shutter in the early days of the crisis. During normal times, however, the demand for the product is high enough to drive up the prices.
For best results, cook filet mignon to medium-rare. If it’s cooked past medium, the meat will still be tender, but it will have a dry texture akin to sawdust.
When you cook filet to the proper temperature, it retains more moisture, which is important when you’re working with such a lean cut. Fortunately, these steaks are usually cut at least 1-1/2 inches thick, which makes them more forgiving than thinner cuts.
How To Get a Good Deal on Filet Mignon
As we pointed out, getting a good price for filet mignon depends largely on the region where you live. However, there are other ways to score a low per-pound price.
Some major supermarket chains, such as Safeway, offer significant discounts to club members. If you’re able to take advantage of these offers, you can save over $8 per pound on filet steaks.
Another way to save money is to purchase the whole beef tenderloin and carve it into steaks yourself. The downside? You’ll be making a large up-front purchase, and the process requires a lot of work and a bit of skill. However, you’ll get several meals out of the deal, and the per-pound price can be half as much as you’d spend on prepared steaks.
Grilled Filet Mignon with Béarnaise Sauce
Béarnaise is a rich sauce made from egg yolks and butter. It’s similar to hollandaise, but it includes a shallot-herb reduction for added flavor. For a truly decadent meal, serve these steaks alongside grilled lobster tails.
For the Steaks:
- 6 filet mignon steaks, cut about 2 inches thick
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons dried tarragon (or 6 tablespoons fresh, finely minced)
- 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 3 large egg yolks
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- Kosher salt, to taste
1. In a small bowl, mix together the salt and pepper. Let the steaks come to room temperature for about 30 minutes while you preheat the grill.
2. Build a hot fire in a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high. When the grates are hot, use a set of tongs and a folded paper towel to apply the oil to the grates.
3. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper.
4. Set the steaks on the oiled grilling grates and cook for about 5 minutes per side, 7 if you prefer them on the medium side of rare.
5. Remove the steaks from the heat and tent them with foil. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce is ready.
6. While the steaks are resting, make the béarnaise sauce. In a small saucepan, mix together the tarragon, vinegar, and shallots. Whisk over medium heat until the mixture forms a paste, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
7. In the top portion of a double boiler, combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Set over simmering water and whisk constantly until the yolks thicken to the consistency of mayonnaise. Remove from heat.
Tip: If you don’t have a double boiler, use a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan filled about 1/4 of the way with water. Make sure the bowl forms a tight seal over the top of the saucepan, and use caution, as the bowl will get hot.
8. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter, whisking constantly. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with a bit of hot water. Add the shallot-herb mixture and stir to blend.
9. After plating the steaks, pour a few tablespoons of the béarnaise sauce over each one. Serve with grilled asparagus and boiled new potatoes.
The Bottom Line
Filet mignon is a rare and expensive cut of steak, so it’s best reserved for special occasions. If you can find it for under $20 per pound, consider buying some in advance and storing it in the freezer until you’re ready to fire up the grill.
Best of luck, and happy grilling!