Filet mignon even sounds intimidating. However, grilling this tender cut of meat does not have to make anyone nervous. It’s actually a pretty simple process. The one key to remember throughout the entire process is that less is more—less preparation, less interference, less stress, and more enjoyment of a steak that will literally melt in your mouth.
To prepare the steak you will only need some simple spices. For lean meat, or if the fat has been removed from the outer edges of the filet, you may want to wrap a strip of bacon around it to keep the juices in. Then, rub fresh ground pepper over the filet for the perfect marinade by itself, and only add kosher salt to the meat after searing it on the grill. After all, the last thing you want is a dry filet mignon. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, any steak rub or traditional marinade will suffice for flavor. Either way, let your filet mignon sit for thirty to forty-five minutes before placing it on the grill. This will allow the meat to reach room temperature as well as to facilitate in the absorption of the spices.
While you are waiting for your filet to reach room temperature, preheat your grill. For a gas grill, a medium-high setting is best for searing, and it should take 15-20 minutes to preheat. For a charcoal grill, the coals should be evenly distributed and you will know it is ready when the coals are red-hot and covered with white ash. Proceed by placing the filet on the grill with tongs. It is important to never pierce the meat, as the juices will drain out. Always use tongs when turning the steak. Once the steaks have been seared for 3 minutes on each side, cook them for an addition 1-6 minutes on each side by indirect heat, depending on preference and thickness of the steak. For a gas grill, turn the middle burner off, and for a charcoal grill, move the majority of the charcoal to one side and cook on the other. For both grills, cook with the lid down.
Once your filets have been grilled to your liking, remove them from the grill. If you are unsure whether your meat is cooked correctly, you may test the doneness by pushing on the steak. A rare steak will leave an indention of your finger on the surface. A medium steak will give a little, but not leave an indention. You may also use a digital or instant-read meat thermometer. For medium, cook to 145F (63C); for rare, cook to 130F (54C). When removing the filets from the grill, it is best to place them on warm plates. Always allow filet mignon to sit for five minutes before serving to ensure that the flavors have time to settle, and then you may slice the meat and serve as desired.
Grilling filet mignon obviously does not have to cause anxiety in anyone. The important things to remember are to allow your meat to reach room temperature, to never pierce a filet, and to allow the juices to recollect after cooking the steak. That way, you can savor each and every mouth-watering, melt in your mouth bite.