When you think of cooking filet mignon, you probably automatically think of sautéing it in a cast-iron skillet with a little bit of butter or bacon drippings. Maybe you think of a perfect bacon wrapped filet cooked in the oven or one cooked in dry red wine. As delicious as the results of cooking with these filet-loving ingredients may be, there’s another way to cook this cut you might be forgetting.
If you’re a huge fan of the flavor you get from grilling, your skillet seared filets won’t cut it. Contrary to popular belief, grilled filet mignon can be cooked just as perfectly as a filet cooked on the stove if you know how to do it correctly.
Filet mignon is known for its tenderness, thanks to its small amount of connective tissue. But cook it incorrectly or at the wrong temperature, and you’ll lose that tenderness quickly. The trick is to know how to grill filet mignon using the right settings and time so that you leave the incredible texture and flavour intact for the perfect melt-in-your-mouth bites filet lovers crave. This article will teach you all about how to cook filet mignon on the grill to impress everyone at your next barbecue.
What Grill Works Better for Filet Mignon: Gas or Charcoal?
The answer to this really depends on your flavor preference, since either type of grill can do the job. A charcoal grill is best for that smoky, southern BBQ flavor that some people prefer. But, if you’re looking for a flavor that more closely resembles the smokiness of bacon, a gas grill could be your best bet.
As a side note, bacon does do wonders for filet mignon to enhance its flavor. So, it’s possible that gas grills have a slight advantage when it comes to filet mignon grilling. However, don’t feel that you need to purchase a new grill just to cook your filets; they’ll do just fine with whatever grill you have if you know how to control temperature and monitor cook times.
Either way, check out these tips on the most common grilling mistakes to avoid before firing up your grill of choice!
What Grill Temp Should I Use?
Filets should be cooked on the grill over medium-high heat. Ideally, you should get the temperature to around 450-degrees on a gas grill or set your filets on a grill rack directly over medium coals on a charcoal grill. Doing so will give them that incredible sear you’d get from a pan sear, leaving the outside somewhat crisp and the inside soft and tender.
To continue cooking the inside, you’ll need indirect heat. To do this, you can move your filets to an area of the grill away from the flames, allowing the smoke to penetrate the beef. Indirect heat ensures that your meat keeps cooking on the inside without scorching the outside.
Filet Mignon Cook Time on the Grill
Grilling filet mignon usually won’t take any more than 15 minutes to do, even if they’re super thick cuts, like our Premium Angus Beef Filet Mignon. If your certified Angus beef filets are closer to an inch or 1 ½ inches thick, they probably won’t need any more than 4 to 5 mins. of grilling on each side. But, thicker cuts of two inches or more will require a grill time of about 6 mins. on each side. Follow the cooking chart below to cook your filet mignon to your preferred doneness.
|Filet Mignon Doneness||Steak Temperature||Time On Grill|
|Rare||120° F – 125° F||3-4 minutes per side|
|Medium Rare||125° F – 135° F||5 minutes per side|
|Medium||135° F – 145° F||5-7 minutes per side|
|Medium Well||145° F – 155° F||7-9 minutes per side|
|Well Done||Above 155° F||10 minutes per side|
The Best Process for Grilling Filet Mignon
First, you should allow your steaks to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling them. Getting them to room temperature ensures that you get a more even, thorough cook through this thick cut of beef. Then, preheat your grill to a high temperature – about 450-degrees – before grilling a filet mignon. This ensures that your steak gets a good sear before cooking internally and prevents overcooking. Preheating on a gas grill can take about 15 to 20 minutes, while your charcoal grill will be ready to roll when your coals ash over.
Add a little olive oil to your grill racks as your grill comes to temperature to prevent your filets from sticking. Right before you place your steaks on the grill, add your choice seasoning. Salt and pepper are good choices, but our Chicago Steak Seasoning can give your filets just the right flavor boost!
Put your filets on the grill over the most intense heat and close the lid. Keep them in place for the time mentioned above, according to your steaks’ thickness. When the time is up, open the grill lid and flip and turn the filets. Again, close the lid and cook for the recommended time to your desired doneness.
For a medium-rare cook – the goal for most filet eaters – you’ll want to stop cooking when the center reaches about 125 degrees. For a rare steak, remove from the grill when the center reaches 115 degrees. For medium, wait to remove them from the grill until about 135 degrees. You’ll then need to let the meat rest for another 5 to 10 minutes off the grill to allow its juices to flow back through every inch for a perfect steak cook and texture.
More Grilled Filet Mignon Tips
Now you know the best way to cook filet mignon on a grill. Still, we have a few more pointers that may be able to help you get the perfect cook every time:
- Try to use filets that are at least two inches thick, which tend to do better on the grill.
- If food tends to stick to your grill racks, remember to lightly oil the racks with olive oil before preheating the grill and cooking your steak. Always keep your grill clean, too, before uses by scrubbing its racks with a wire brush while it’s still warm.
- Use an instant-read thermometer during the cooking process to monitor the internal temperature. You should stop cooking them when they reach about 125-degrees for a medium-rare cook.
- Allow your filets to rest for 5 to 10 minutes under a foil tent off the grill. This allows the juices to work their way back through the meat to make it more tender.
- If you plan to use a sauce or butter on your filets, you should do so as they rest.
- For added flavor, feel free to make bacon wrapped filets or make marinated filet mignon with dry red wine; both are just as perfect for grilling filet mignon as they are for baking it in the oven!
- If you’re scared to overdo the cook of your filets on the grill, try the reverse sear method instead. First, cook your steaks on low heat until they reach about 90 to 100 degrees. Then, crank up the heat to high and allow the outside to sear on all sides until the brown, crisp crust forms. Check the internal temperature of each filet to ensure the inside is at the proper temp.
Conclusion: Filet Mignon on the Grill
As you can see, grilling a filet isn’t complicated after a little practice. The trickiest part is understanding how long to cook filet mignon on the grill to your desired doneness. Hopefully, this article helped guide you in the right direction, but it still may take some trial-and-error with grilling filet mignon to get your perfect cook, especially if you’re not 100% familiar with your grill.
We suggest spending some time testing out your grill with other more affordable cuts of steak before jumping right into grilling filet mignon! This will help you get acquainted with its settings and usual cook times.
For more helpful cooking tips and delicious recipes, like marinated filet mignon, be sure to check out our Steak University recipe section!
Chicago Steak Company’s Grilled Filet Mignon
- 4 Chicago Steak Company's USDA Prime Filet Mignon (10oz)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 4 tbsp butter
- Pull steaks from the refrigerator for 30 minutes prior to cooking. Brush olive oil lightly over all sides. Then, season generously with salt and pepper. Allow to rest at room temperature for the rest of the 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fire up the grill over high heat.
- Right before cooking, sprinkle fresh thyme on the steaks. Place the filets on the grill over direct heat. Allow to sear for 4-5 minutes until a rich, golden-brown crust forms. Then, flip the filets over to the other side to sear for another 4-5 minutes.
- Using tongs, hold the filets on their sides, rotating them occasionally to sear all sides of the filets.
- Check the internal temperature with a steak thermometer. For medium-rare, the steaks should come to about 130 degrees. If they need a little more time to cook, lower the heat on the grill, close the lid, and allow them to cook for a couple more minutes.
- Remove filets from the grill. Tent them loosely with foil, allowing them to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Just before serving, add 1 tbsp of butter to the top of each filet. Enjoy!