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If you’ve ever been to a steakhouse and ordered a nice thick filet mignon, medium rare to medium temperature—chances are you were disappointed. That’s because the majority of restaurants use a broiler to cook their steaks.
While the broiler works well (excellent even) for achieving that perfect crust and inducing the Maillard reaction on a thinner cut steak; it’s nearly impossible to nail the proper internal temperature of a thick cut steak without overcooking the outside of it. So, you’re medium rare to medium steak is only about half right. By half I mean, the interior of your steak is the perfect 130-135°F, but ensuring the center has reached that temperature takes so long that the exterior is likely at about 140-145°F, or even higher!
This problem is multiplied with the filet because it’s such a lean cut of meat to begin with, it will dry out quickly. For that reason, and because fat is flavor, I recommend well marbled filets like these Private Reserve filets from Omaha Steaks. These filets are interlaced with a nice amount of fat that will add to the flavor and prevent them from drying out so quickly.
I’ve blogged about the reverse sear method, which is a preferred method among many and will prevent that overcooked outside from happening. In fact, I’ve shown you how to use that method effectively with a gas grill, and even with an oven and cast iron skillet if weather or some other reason has prevented you from using the grill. Today we’re going to talk about another method of achieving that perfect edge to edge doneness on a thick cut steak like a filet mignon, the sous vide method.
Why use the sous vide technique you ask?
It’s just another option that allows you some freedom that other options don’t. Sous vide allows you to take care of other things while your food is cooking unattended. When your food is “ready” after the water bath, simply sear it for a total of about 3 minutes and you’re ready to eat. Not to mention, the sous vide option allows your steak to bathe in the seasonings and butter we’re going to seal it up with.
Read on for the perfect and hassle free filet mignon.
How to Sous Vide Filet Mignon
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins. | Cook time: ~2 hours
Step 1: Following manufactures instructions, prepare water bath for 125°F.
Step 2: Season filets on both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper. Try to start with the best marbled filets your budget will allow.
Step 3: Place filets in sealable bag, putting a pad of butter and a sprig of rosemary on either side of the steak.
Step 4: Submerge sealed bags into water bath and allow water temperature to return to the selected 125°F. You may need to clip the bags to your container in order to keep them submerged. I use these cheap ones on Amazon and they work just fine but if you have a sturdy paper clip those work well too.
Step 5: Allow steaks to sit in water bath for 1.5 to 2 hours.
Step 6: Just before the steaks are done in the sous vide bath, prepare your cast iron skillet and heat it up to 450°-500°F. I highly recommend checking your surface temperature with an infrared thermometer, if you have one. If you don’t, let the pan sit over high heat for 5 minutes or so. This should achieve the temperature you’re looking for. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with avocado oil. I recommend avocado oil for its neutral taste and high smoke point.
GRILLSEEKER SECRET: It’s extremely important that the cooking surface is already at temperature, not coming up to temperature when the steaks are placed on it.
Step 7: Remove bags from water bath. Take steaks out and pat dry with a paper towel. We want the steaks to sear in the cast iron pan, not boil or steam, which they will do if they’re wet when they hit the cooking surface.
Step 8: Place steaks directly onto hot cast iron surface and sear for 90 seconds—flip and repeat.
Step 9: Remove steaks from pan. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. To put this recipe into overdrive, try topping the steaks with my Grillseeker herb butter recipe.
Make this Sous Vide Filet Mignon recipe:
- 3-4 6oz Omaha Steaks Filet Mignon
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 8 sprigs rosemary
- 1 tsp avocado oil
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 pinch finely ground pepper
Following manufactures instructions, prepare water bath for 125°F.
Season filets on both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Place filets in a sealable bag. Put a pad of butter and a sprig of rosemary on either side of the steak.
Submerge sealed bags into water bath and allow water temperature to return to the selected 125°F.
Allow steaks to sit in water bath for 1.5-2 hours.
Just before steaks are done in the sous vide, prepare your cast iron skillet and heat it up to 450°-500°F.
Remove bags from water bath, take steaks out and pat dry with a paper towel.
Place steaks directly onto hot cast iron surface and sear for 90 seconds—flip and repeat.
Remove steaks from pan. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.