Filet Mignon Vs. Tenderloin: What's The Biggest Difference?

Protein-rich and high in iron, B-vitamins, and zinc, per The Meat & Wine Co, most people know how they prefer their steak cooked, which seasonings they want, and whether they like to slather on the steak sauce. What some people aren't as familiar with is the different cuts of beef and which is the right one to order for both their budget and tastes.

Knowing which beef cut you relish will ensure you enjoy every bite. Served with a side dish such as fresh, nutrient-rich broccoli, buttery whipped potatoes, or a salad, steak makes the perfect meal for any day of the week.

As both filet mignon and beef tenderloin are more expensive cuts of steak, usually purchased for special occasions, according to Clover Meadow's Beef, you'll want to know the differences between these two cuts before you buy.

Filet mignon is a part of the tenderloin

Although they are both top-quality cuts of beef, boneless, and come from the same muscle, tenderloin and filet mignon have their differences. According to MasterClass, there are several distinguishing characteristics between the two.

Beef tenderloin is a long, larger cut of beef that includes the filet mignon. It is a fine-grained, lean cut of steak that is sold as a large tenderloin cut or broken into smaller pieces, such as the filet mignon (via Farming Base). Beef tenderloin includes the filet mignon as part of its whole. It is a larger cut of beef used in dishes such as beef wellington, and it's excellent for slow-oven roasting.

Filet mignon is a special, sought-after, and expensive cut of beef that is small and lean and contains little to no marbling. This cut is a smaller portion of the beef tenderloin, originating from the end tip of the tenderloin. Its tender texture melts in your mouth and doesn't contain much beefy flavor due to its lack of fat. Filet mignon cooks quickly because it does not have the fat and bones that slow the cooking process down. This exquisite cut of beef is perfect for searing, then finishing in the oven, or pan-fried over high heat.

The biggest difference between filet mignon and beef tenderloin is the size. Tenderloin is the whole piece of meat, Difference Between explains, while the filet is a portion of the tenderloin.

Regardless of which cut you choose, both filet and tenderloin are succulent pieces of beef worth sinking your teeth into.