What Are the Differences Between Beef Tenderloin vs. Filet Mignon?


What exactly makes certain cuts of beef better than others?

All these cuts come from the same animal. Maybe it’s justifiable that cows that were raised in Kobe, Japan, and treated like kings fetch a high price, but could there really be such a difference between typical supermarket cuts you see?

Yes, there could be. Knowing how to pick the right cut is a skill you’ll want to take with you as a home cook or a dinner date.

To find out what’s up with two of the most ‘premium’ cuts, beef tenderloin vs. filet mignon, keep reading.

What You Should Know About Beef

Cuts are not made equal: the area of the cow that the beef comes from determines the ‘cut’.

You’ll find different fat concentrations and muscles throughout a cow, so yes, a piece of meat that comes from a less muscular part of the cow will be more tender in the mouth.

Beef tenderloin is one such cut. This cut contains muscles near a cow’s hips that are used in reproduction; in short, muscles the cow isn’t always using. This makes the cut more tender.

Japanese beef is a lot more expensive because of its fat and marbling. When you look at a wagyu beef steak the first thing you’ll notice are the striations of fat throughout the entire piece of meat. This is where the flavor is, and it makes the beef extremely tender and mouth-watering.

Filet Mignon

What is filet mignon? Filet mignon actually comes from a specific area in the middle of the tenderloin.

It’s located around the ribcage, near the hips.

This particular cut includes muscles that do not bear any of the cow’s weight, so the meat is extremely tender and fetches a high price.

This cut tends to be on the lean side while remaining extremely tender. Because it contains less fat you can ask for the bone-in at a restaurant so the cut retains more flavor.

When cooking, you’ll want to prepare this particular cut with rubs or delicious sauces to shore up the flavor from its having less fat.

Beef Tenderloin vs. Filet Mignon

That right there is the difference between these two cuts. Filet mignon comes from the short loin of tenderloin, but tenderloin is not the same as filet mignon.

When you want to gift a steak box, either of these cuts is an excellent choice.

Both tenderloin and filet mignon fetch a higher price at grocery stores because of their relative scarcity compared to other cuts of meat. The tenderloin is a small area of the cow.

The filet mignon comes from a small circular strip attached to the entire tenderloin. Meat that is sold as tenderloin will not be meat from this strip.

Learning More About Beef

The best chefs and consumers know their way around a cow. An excellent chef can turn a cheaper cut of meat into a mouthwatering meal. For those of us who just want that tender, perfect steak, we must rely on choosing a more premium cut of beef, to begin with.

In terms of beef tenderloin vs. filet mignon, both are excellent choices. You can definitely impress your date with the knowledge that filet mignon comes from the tenderloin and should be prepared with seasonings.

You’ve learned tips about how to cook filet mignon and the difference between different beef cuts.

For more tasty recipes, visit our Health blog!


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