The tenderness of a steak is inversely related to the amount of work that the muscle does during the animal’s lifetime. Because of this, different cuts of meat have different properties and need different cooking techniques.
Each cut of steak has something to offer, from fat content to tenderness to flavor. Although the rib eye and filet mignon are two of the most talked-about cuts – and some of the most expensive – they couldn’t be more different.
A simplified rule to remember is: the ribeye is perfect for those who prefer flavor, and the filet mignon is the better choice for those who prefer texture.
Ribeye has long been known to steak lovers as the epitome of steak flavor. This cut of meat comes from the ribs of the animal, between the loin and shoulder. The cuts produce incredible fat marbling, helping to pack in rich flavors and juicy texture.
Packed with natural flavor, a ribeye steak needs very little help in the pan. Season with just a bit of salt and pepper, the flavor of the ribeye filet speaks for itself.
Because of their high fat content, special attention should be paid to ribeye while grilling. Have a cover and long tongs ready, just in case of a flare up.
Filet mignon (or tenderloin) are, by far, the tenderest piece of meat on the steer, with an almost buttery texture. Its tenderness, coupled with the scarcity of the amount of meat on the animal, makes it the most expensive cut at the butcher.
While many steak lovers believe this is the best cut out there (due to the high price), it is very low in fat which means it is very low in flavor.
In fact, filet mignon is typically paired with bacon or a gravy to help the meat with additional flavor.
Regardless, die-hard steak fans are willing to pay top dollar to get the fork-tenderness of the filet mignon. Best when cooked no more than medium-rare, you can get a good sear in a pan with a small amount of oil, and salt and pepper. The leftover juices in the pan can be poured over the top of the steak after it’s done cooking for some added flavor.
Because it’s so low in fat (fat conducts heat more slowly than muscle), filet mignon cooks much faster than other steaks and are thus prone to drying out.
So, Which is Better?
If flavor is more important to you, get a Ribeye. If tenderness matters more, invest in the Filet Mignon. With the best-aged beef on the market, our Filet Mignon is served alongside double mashed potatoes.
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