Subscribe to our newsletter, get our FREE ebook.

* indicates required
Close

How to Grill Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon…even the name sounds intimidating. Most captains of the grill panic at the shear mention of this great piece of meat. Nightmares of burning, drying and otherwise screwing up this fine cut of beef can make even the most seasoned grill chef break out in hives!  Why the stress?  Because this is an expensive cut of meat.  The filet is cut from the tenderloin and the average cow only contains 4 – 6 pounds of it, hence the cost.  Not to fear though, we will show you how easy it can be with step by step directions.  The key is to keep it simple and let the tenderness and flavor of this awesome cut of beef shine through.

Less IS More…
When grilling filet mignon (and almost any other grilled steak for that matter), less is definitely more. Less seasoning, less grilling time, less flipping, less poking and prodding…you get the point. So there is no need to panic, filet mignon is such a prime cut of meat that it is very easy to grill a masterpiece, especially if you purchase high quality and all-natural filets. Before you even touch that steak, let’s look at what you should never, ever do to that poor juicy steak.

  • NEVER puncture your steak! We will talk about how to tell if it is done later.
  • NEVER close the lid! My Dad used to say “if you are looking, you are not cooking”. Sorry Dad, that’s not true for steak…
  • NEVER cook it too long. The best way to upset your steak is to cook it too long. There is nothing worst than a $15 piece of beef jerky. Remember, you can always throw it back on for a few more minutes.

 

Grilling Filet Mignon, Step by Step…
Let’s break this thing down so you can see how easy this is going to be.

Step 1Seasoning. You paid a lot for this filet, give it some credit that it is going to hold it’s own in the taste department. The only seasoning I recommend to help this steak out is some fresh ground black pepper. Save the course salt for the end, some say it draws out juices. I doubt it does, but why take the chance?

Grill Filet Mignon

Step 2Leave it alone! In order to reduce grilling time and ensure consistent cooking throughout the steak, we must bring the filet to room temperature. This is your easiest step, once it’s seasoned just leave it on the kitchen counter. Your patience will be rewarded, trust me…just let it get into the “zone” by itself and move onto these next steps. Let it sit for at least 45 minutes. Go on, leave it alone, move on to the next step!

Step 3Fire it up! We are going to use direct heat to grill this delicious steak, so fire up your grill and set it and leave it at the highest temperature setting. You will know she is ready when you can’t hold your hand 2 inches above the grates for more than 5 seconds (don’t try and be tough, you know it hurts…).  If you are a charcoal griller, follow this guide for lighting a charcoal grill and set up your grill for hot, direct grilling by creating a pile 2 coals high.

Step 4Sear in those juices! Ok, the moment of truth, your steak has been getting itself ready on the counter and now it’s game time! Using TONGS (remember, don’t EVER puncture that beautiful steak’s flesh!) place your steaks on the grill and do NOTHING for at least 2 minutes. The only exception to this rule is if you have to play firefighter and splash a little water on a pesky flame. A little flare up is fine, but if a flame burns for more than 30 seconds, splash a tiny bit of water on it to put it out.

Step 5Grill marks! All we are doing here is creating those cool looking grill marks. After about 2 minutes (for medium-rare, a little more for Medium), lift, turn your steak 90 degrees and then set it back down for another 3 minutes (again, for medium-rare, a little more if you have to have it more done).

Step 6Flip once! After a total of about 5 minutes, it’s time to flip that steak for the one and only time. Gently lift, flip and set it back down in the same spot and leave it alone again for about 2 more minutes.

Step 7Rotate again. This is getting easy, you know what is next. Repeat Step 5 on this side now!

Step 8Check it. Now it is time to check your steak for the perfect doneness.  The very best way to ensure proper doneness is by using an instant-read meat thermometer.  The Thermapen is by far the best meat thermometer on the market.  A favorite of TV and restaurant chefs, it is highly accurate, instant, automatically turns on and off (no buttons to mess with) and never needs calibration.  Highly recommended if you cook a lot, get it here.  Insert the thermometer into the side of the steak to measure the very center and then check out our grilling tips for a temperature chart to determine your preferred doneness.  Better yet for you iPhone owners, download our FREE MeatTemps iPhone app for an easy to use meat doneness reference.

Step 9Remove and rest. Take it off the grill now, you are done with the heat section! Remove it and set it on a plate or platter and leave it alone.

Your beautiful filet has been through a traumatic experience. It went from refrigerated to room temperature to a HOT grill. This plays havoc on the juices inside so we need to give it some time to collect itself. Now that it is on the platter, let it rest again for 2 – 3 minutes (which will now seem like 2 hours!). This allows the juices to re-distribute, so they don’t all run out when you slice into that beautiful hunk of beef.

Grilled Filet Mignon

Step 10 – Enjoy! Go ahead, enjoy it!

See? I told you that was easy! Less IS more when grilling filet mignon. Try a less expensive cut of meat next time.  You don’t have to pay a lot of money or get real fancy when grilling steak, just focus on technique.  Also remember to throw in some grilled chicken for those guests or family members that don’t eat red meat. Check out some of our other grilling recipes to get more ideas for your next cookout, including chicken.

“Like” us on Facebook and let’s talk grilling!

104 Responses

avatar

College Chris

05-30-2009

great article, especially the idea that less is more…will be grilling tonight and looking forward to a nice juicy filet mignon…

don’t forget the steak sauce! Enjoy

avatar

Sam Hunter

06-21-2009

Thank you for the excellent points! Just grilled 6 filets of mignon (not sure how the grammar works) but using your methods the steaks just melted in our mouths.

The past few years grilling has been frustrating with mixed results. I am now excited to grill again!

Thank you! Your tips made for an excellent Father’s Day!

avatar

Boomer

08-02-2009

Cooked the filet the way you recomended and I recieved all kinds of OMG to the taste of the STEAK!

avatar

David W. Pewaukee WI

11-18-2009

you ROCK!! That steak was awesome!!!

avatar

Steve

11-18-2009

Glad it turned out good David!

avatar

Candi Tomlin

12-06-2009

Thank you for posting. My steak was awesome!!

avatar

Steve

12-06-2009

Candi, glad to hear it turned out good!

avatar

Your Name

12-07-2009

Hat’s off to you my man, best steak i’ve ever grilled!

avatar

MoStakes

12-29-2009

I tried the steps in this guide as closely as possible on a frozen evening and the stakes for my guests were rated “Great!” by all. Thank you, I am grateful for the advice.

avatar

Sandy

12-30-2009

Grilling for dummies. I love it. That was so well detailed yet to the point…yum.

avatar

Wes

01-01-2010

Trying this in a few minutes

avatar

Wes

01-02-2010

Wow, that was easy! Worked perfectly.

avatar

admin

01-02-2010

Good to hear Wes, Happy New Year!

avatar

Michael G

01-30-2010

I’m tryin my first grilled filet mignon’s tonite – I prefer not so pink meat – my wife likes it a little pinker – here we go!!! I’ll repost in a bit!!

avatar

g.gregory

02-02-2010

hi, you made grilling thefilets easy

avatar

Steve

02-02-2010

Great to hear!

avatar

Matt

02-09-2010

well I went a total of 6 and a half minutes per side….pressing down to gauge the firmness. It came out perfect, thanks for the guidance.

avatar

Bob

02-14-2010

Thanks, your suggestions made our (wife and I) Valentine day meal great!

avatar

Louie

02-14-2010

I was so nervous about preparing valentines dinner for 12 this article explained PERFECTLY what i should do for this meal!!!!

avatar

Derekka

02-15-2010

Thanks so much! Great tips, I hope it works out! I’m making dinner for my boyfriend this Valentine’s Day so thanks for the tips :)

avatar

Greer

02-15-2010

The part about “If you’re lookin’ – it ain’t cookin’”, is that your Dad was right! Especially if you’re cooking over indirect heat – not only leave the lid closed – but I even eliminate the turning (unless its just toward the end). ‘Right on’ with the rest, though!

avatar

Steve

02-15-2010

Hey Greer, thanks for the comment. I completely agree with you about indirect grilling. I disagree though with closing the lid on steaks. I find that direct grilling over high heat gives me much more control over how quickly and evenly the steak is grilled. Thanks again for reading though, disagreements and discussion are always welcome!

avatar

BJ

02-22-2010

About to try this…do you recommend brushing the grill grates with peanut oil prior to grilling so there is no chance of ripping the meat when you try to pull it off?

avatar

JR

02-25-2010

Suggestion of our meat packing house is, if wrapped in pork, sear the edge first. It works for me. Give it a try!!!! I totally agree that “less is better”.

avatar

Nancy

03-12-2010

My first time grilling anything and I am 31 yrs old. My husband walked out and said, “Is it the right temperature?” I put my hand over it and said, “yes it is, he told me to do this, and don’t be brave.” He said to close the lid, I said , “no, he told me to keep it open.” He said are you going to poke it to see if it is done.” I said, ” No, he told me not to.” Then finally we sat down to dinner and it was awesome. I was so proud of me, and then finally my husband asked who “he” was and if “he” was hiding in the closet. So thank you very much, the directions were perfect!!!

avatar

rothfest

04-07-2010

Thanks dude! The girl who is over here ate the filet I made perfectly because of you and ran back to her apartment for “wine and something more comfortable”. You are like a grilling wingman or something. I won’t kiss and tell later, but my odds are looking pretty good here. :)

avatar

Steve

04-08-2010

Rothfest, I don’t think you need it after a great filet, but good luck! We’re all a bunch of married guys with kids here, so we’ll live vicariously through you…

avatar

Brad

04-11-2010

Wow. Have been trepidatious about my new and ‘improved’ gas grill. And to quote you “No one wants a $15 dollar piece of jerky”. I followed your filet mignon grilling instructions to the letter. I’m full and happy as is my wife. I just wanted write and say thank you. Good, good stuff! Keep it up.

avatar

Henry

04-19-2010

i dont really have a problem cooking things like chicken or fish, but i was always intimidated by steak (especially filet mignon) so i would only eat it at restaurants. that meant sometimes paying up to $50 per steak! so today my girlfriend and i grilled for my parents using your method and it came out perfect! i was proud to show the “old man” that i can grill. simple is always better!

avatar

kcwn

04-25-2010

Just used the steps in this guide to cook 17 filets on a regular size 15 year old Ducane Grill. This was for a wedding party and I was nervous but the results were spectacular. I did close the lid and added additional minutes of cooking because of the number of filets involved. Thanks for all the replies to this article, they were very helpful.

avatar

Daisy

04-30-2010

My husband is very sad to be replacing his old Weber charcoal grill with a big new Weber gas grill tomorrow. We are planning to break it in by grilling filets for company. He is always very nervous about grilling for company, and this just adds extra pressure. I found your tips tonight, and we can’t wait to try them out…we’ll let you know!

avatar

Aruba Jeff

05-14-2010

Giving it a go this evening… Just called the wife to tell her to take the filets out at 6pm since i’ll be throwing them on at 7! I’ll repost afterwards – hopefully will be good news!

avatar

Carolyn

06-05-2010

What thickness were your steaks? Ours were 2 1/2″ and we had to double the time. They weren’t quite medium rare.
Thanks

avatar

Steve

06-06-2010

It all depends on the temperature of your grill, obviously. If you need 10 minutes per side for a steak, your grill isn’t getting that hot. I’d try closing the lid to keep the heat up on a grill like that.

avatar

Laura

06-09-2010

I am super excited to try this on Saturday. Cooking for my new boyfriend…super nervous. Can you tell me how many inches your filets were for this?

avatar

Steve

06-09-2010

Good luck! I mostly get filets around and inch and a half thick. Remember, these times are approximate, a lot depends on the temp of your grill. You can always throw a too rare steak back on, so just don’t overcook them.

avatar

Scott

06-11-2010

I was thinking of wrapping mine in beacon (a common thing, I know) does that change the rules of your article.
This is my first time with filet mignon and I too was nervous at first…expensive!…but with your advice I can say that I’m going to go forth and conquer! I’m looking forward to it. Thanks for helping us novice grill-masters out.

avatar

nette

06-12-2010

our filet was amazing! we have never had such a juicy steak…we will definitely be making some in the near future.

avatar

JZ

06-13-2010

Best grilled filet mignon ever, thanks!!

avatar

Shirley Barton

06-24-2010

6/23/10
The best filet mignon we’ve ever done. We cooked it about 15 minutes total because it was pretty breezy on our deck. Delicious.

avatar

Liz

07-01-2010

Thank you so much for this! I cooked my first steak of any kind tonight and it came out perfect!

avatar

Tony

07-17-2010

Nice article my filet was very good. But I have to comment that someone up above said “Don’t forget the steak sauce”.

OMG!!! Steak sauce on a filet mignon?

avatar

Eric

09-07-2010

Just used your method. FANTASTIC!!!

avatar

Dinah

09-10-2010

Giving this a try tonight. I am looking forward to a great steak. Our filets have been in our freezer just waiting to be cooked. My husband and I were both afraid to try to cooke them. You know the saying ” when the smoke alarm goes off, dinner is ready.” I am hoping the smoke is on the grill and the steaks are awesome! Thanks for the guidance and tips! :)

avatar

Dinah

09-10-2010

Giving this a try tonight. I am looking forward to a great steak. Our filets have been in our freezer just waiting to be cooked. My husband and I were both afraid to try to cook them. You know the saying ” when the smoke alarm goes off, dinner is ready.” I am hoping the smoke is on the grill and the steaks are awesome! Thanks for the guidance and tips! :) (sorry for the spelling error in the previous post)

avatar

Terry

10-15-2010

Followed your time recommendations and the steaks were absolutely perfect. Everybody thought I was the GRILL MASTER !!! Did not argue with them.

avatar

Nicole

10-25-2010

Just followed your tips and our fillet’s turned out FABULOUS!
Thanks!

avatar

Scott

12-25-2010

In about four hours I will be trying this and the grilled lobster recipe; first Christmas without a turkey as we wanted to try something different this year. From all the responses here (and if I can manage to follow these simple instructions) it looks like it may turn out really good. Thanks and Merry Christmas!

avatar

Malachi

12-25-2010

@Scott: sounds pretty close to my Christmas Dinner! As for the filet, I bought a whole tenderloin from BJs and after watching a few videos on how to cut it down, I am about to put 5 good looking filets on the grill after they finish resting. That is why I love grilling. Steak sitting right next to lobster (fish, chicken, whatever…) and a perfect 75 degrees outside in Central Fl…

Thanks for the how too guide!

avatar

Ryan

01-05-2011

Wow – I’ve grilled NY Strip for years and had good success, but was always hesitant to try the Filet. 8 oz later and with your guidence, the filet made my wife’s eyes roll backward. Sometimes not saying a word says it all. Thanks for the tips!

avatar

Tina

01-27-2011

Great article, I’ve been cooking filet mignon like you described for years. You are the first I know to write about it correctly. So many recipes call for making a sauce and such. The only other thing I like with it is a few capers. Yum! Had one today. The only other thing that I do that you didn’t mention when it’s really thick, is roll the filet on the side holding it steady with tongs on the grill to brown the edges. Makes it a good looking steak. Keep up the good writing. I’ll visit often. First time here.

avatar

jason

03-30-2011

so there is no marinate a filet.. right?

avatar

jason

03-30-2011

i meant.. there is no reason or is there 2 marinate a filet? if so what would you recomend?

avatar

Steve

03-30-2011

No way!! Doesn’t need it.

avatar

KO

04-02-2011

Excellent advice. Filets came out very tender and full of flavor. Thank you

avatar

WC

04-10-2011

All in all, some good advice, but… The grilling times are too short for what im cooking and what im cooking on.

Ive got a couple of 6 to 8 oz filets and a weber grill. with the top open, at 5 minutes per side they are not close to done.

but again, not bad advice, just tweak to your specific needs

avatar

Marilyn

04-11-2011

I have always closed the grill top! Thanks for the advice! Grilling FM’s tonight…will let you know how I make out. Thanks for all the great advice. Marilyn

avatar

Paul

05-16-2011

Yowzah! So happy to have found this article. I’m keeping the link to The Grilling Companion in my Favorites list for future reference. I just grilled two beautiful and delicious Filets to perfection. I really like the high on one side and low heat on the other idea.

avatar

onebroompilot

06-03-2011

Lol!!! Nice article. Will pass this one on ;)

avatar

Irma

07-04-2011

After reading, I felt like I knew the person. A very “well done” written article and easy instructions to follow.

avatar

Jo Jo

07-21-2011

Wow! For the first time, the steaks came out perfect. Thank you!!

avatar

Steve

07-27-2011

Great article. Not only is it helpful, I didn’t fall asleep halfway reading it! I look forward to reading more article and feeling like the hero at home.

avatar

Jane

08-12-2011

I only wanted to print the recipe and wasted lots of paper of comments which I did not want to print, please fix that or tell people they will be printing the comments if they hit print. It’s really rude to not have an option for printing without comments.

avatar

Steve

08-12-2011

Hey Jane. First of all, sorry about that. Second, great timing, we just added the print button back this evening! Check the top of the recipe again. We had to disable it because the site was crashing for some reason. I think the bug is fixed now. Thanks for your patience.
Steve

avatar

Jane

08-12-2011

great and I apologize for ranting a bit. My husband and son love steak and I’m not a big fan unless it’s filet mignon. Tonight, my son wanted steak and being a weekday, I was the griller. I found your advice (and despite the 25 pages of comments) extremely helpful. I actually grilled filet mignon to medium rare and I thank you so much. It was perfect. again thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.

avatar

Steve

08-12-2011

No problem, we don’t mind complaints, they help us improve the site for everyone.

avatar

Zestful Lou

08-13-2011

Grilled filet mignon is my specialty. I made it for my boyfriend on our second date, and we are now living together and picking out rings. I know I had him hook, line, and sinker after that meal. ;-)

I NEVER season my filets with anything more than coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper. They’ve got such great flavor on their own. I grilled my steaks exactly as above and they were melt in your mouth tender and delicious. I’ve been making them this way ever since.

Great step-by-step article! Thanks!

avatar

Steve

08-13-2011

So…can we say that GrillingCompanion is responsible for your relationship? I think the only appropriate name for your first born is Steve!

avatar

Scott

09-08-2011

I consider myself a good bbq cook. And like your father I have never peeked at a steak. I went for it and have to say it worked. The only issue I had was a little charring on both sides. I might be able to get away with less heat on my grill or perhaps I need to find a spot that’s less intense. Nonetheless, it was excellent, and I’m going to try it again in the future. I also subscribe to the 2 mins on (high heat) 5 minutes off (low heat) theory with a closed grill.

avatar

Marcus

09-09-2011

Hey Steve, I just want to say thank you for the tips. I prepared a meal for my girlfriend and her 3 friends last night. I made Grilled Shrimp Cocktail with Yellow Gazpacho Salsa for apps and Herb crusted Filet Mignon with a Merlot-Peppercorn Steak Sauce. The cooking instructions from your where absolutely perfect and got me great praise from everyone after there mouths stopped salivating. Thanks so much!

avatar

Laura

10-14-2011

Thank you! This is the easiest article on grilling filets. I have done it before but this clarified a lot for me. THanks a million., Steaks were perfect. Cooked them medium and used thermometer (for 145degrees) after the flip. Cook time was 13 minutes for steaks a little more than 1 in thick. Little A1 sauce for my young son, but my husband and i thought steak was perfect with nothing ( but the side of veggies and potato)!

avatar

Chris

10-22-2011

This rocked!!!! Whole family loved it!!!!

avatar

Shelley

12-15-2011

Thanks for a great article! I’m a college student new to cooking foods other than instant noodles and your article clarified a lot about grilling steaks. I will be grilling filet mignon this weekend and I’ve been dreading it because I was scared I was going to ruin the great piece of steak, but after reading your article, I feel confident and even eager to start grilling :) Thanks again!!

avatar

Jeremy

12-25-2011

Thanks a ton for this. I just made two filets on the grill for Christmas Eve dinner. It’s about 33 degrees in Chicago tonight, and the built-in temperature gauge on the grill said I lost about 100 degrees every time I opened the lid for more than 30 seconds. So, I had to keep the lid closed and went about 9 minutes per side, rotating 90 degrees 1/2 way for the grill marks (about 2″ filets). This was my first time making any type of steak/filet on the grill and they came out perfect. The finger-poke test was spot on. It was pretty cold out, but luckily the whiskey and cigar helped pass the time. Thanks again.

avatar

Joe

12-26-2011

This didnt work for me. I needed 11 minutes for each side.

avatar

Amy Conley

01-01-2012

I am a little confused on Step 5. Why do you rotate it? To move the juices? Do you hold it there at the 90 degree angle? For how long? Then do you set it back down on the same side? Thank you. I am looking forward to grilling my favorite steaks tonight!

avatar

Steve

01-01-2012

Just for looks, to get crosshatch grill marks. That step is optional if you don’t care about the grill marks.

avatar

Steve

01-01-2012

Wow. If you needed 11 minutes per side, your grill doesn’t get very hot at all. Try closing the lid to keep the heat in.

avatar

Amy

01-01-2012

Thank you for the speedy reply!

avatar

Kristin

01-14-2012

Spot on, absolutely perfect advice. I’ve been grilling since for 15 years, and this is the best filet I’ve EVER made. I’ve never had one cooked through perfectly and so juicy, it cooked extremely evenly this way. My God, was it good. Thank you SO much for sharing the steps!

avatar

Kari

01-18-2012

In 30 degree weather, would you recommend closing the lid? What temp should I cook at? 350 is usual, but it seems to take awhile. Thanks, can’t wait!

avatar

Steve

01-18-2012

Yeah, close the lid and get the grill as hot as possible. Then sear the steaks over the hot part of the grill. If it is really cold outside, you may need to move the steaks to a cooler side (yeah, 350 will do or the top rack of your grill) and then close the lid for a few minutes to cook them through.

avatar

Paul

01-29-2012

Just about to do filet mignon. Did 2 times before and now remember your site. Thanks. was awsome last 2 times and found you on google again. Awsome. I have 4 filets that were from store…froze…and thawed today….just out of fridge and getting warm (room temp) that was the important part I feel. so 4 will be done soon. And as all say they have been amazing last 2 times. Here BC Canada got 4 filets for $19 but well no way as dutch, so bought when were buy one get one free…yup so happy. My usual BBQ is 15 10 inch oysters and 50 2 1/2 inch clams on the top level. really ask and will send pic. Paul from Powell River BC

avatar

paul

01-29-2012

just added your app to my iphone….thanks

avatar

Steve

01-29-2012

Glad the filets were delicious Paul. Yeah, always love to see photos of other people’s grills, please send to the contact email at the bottom of the site. Cheers!

avatar

Steve

03-15-2012

Thanks, fixed it.

avatar

Mak O

03-21-2012

Awesome. Great article. Dinner was DELISH!!!

avatar

R.G.

08-26-2012

With the help of these directions, the filet mignon turned out perfect! Even my two finicky kids loved them. With a few sauteed mushrooms they were juicy and devine. Great article and the most concise I found on the net.

avatar

Jens

01-01-2013

We’re having filet mignon for New year’s Eve and I’m headed out to fire up the grill. The steak is on the counter getting itself ready, too. The outside air temp is only 4 deg F so sounds like I may need to close the lid for at least a short bit. Thanks for the great tips!

avatar

Brenner

01-27-2013

Wow! Amazing steak!

Leave a Reply

Search Recipes By Category: