Last week I participated in a post on a Facebook Big Green Egg Group about the best way to cook a Filet Mignon. This post went on and on with everyone giving valuable advice and lessons learned about cooking this cut of beef on the Big Green Egg. Now, I have cooked this steak many times and feel confident in my ability to knock out a great meal using this piece of tenderloin. However, the post got me thinking, which way would taste the best?! Is there a material difference between techniques and the cooked meat?! I decided to take two individual Filet’s and cook each of them differently using techniques I have done many times: Sous vide and High Sear. I then planned a side by side taste test. This post walks you through the experience and shares my results. Now sit back, grab a glass of Malbec, and enjoy the post Big Green Egg Filet Mignon Two Ways.
Big Green Egg Filet Mignon Two Ways
First up was to prepare the Filet Mignon #1 using the Sous vide technique. To do this, I seasoned the Filet with salt and a little olive oil then vacuum sealed it.
I prepared the Sous Vide Supreme machine by filling it with water and bringing the temp up to 134° (which is the temp of a Medium Rare Filet Mignon).
The beauty of the Sous Vide technique is you heat the water to the temp you want the meat cooked. Then submerge the vacuum sealed meat in that water and let it sit for 3 hours. This cooks the steak to a perfect 134° and keeps it there for as long as you have it in the warm water bath. You cannot overcook the meat and it is perfect every time!
The thing about Filet Mignon is it is a very tender piece of meat but it isn’t the most flavorful. This is because this cut of meat doesn’t have as much fat as other cuts do (e.g. NY Strip, Rib Eye). To give this tender cut of meat some bold flavors I made a Sriracha compound butter using garlic, butter, fish sauce, and Sriracha.
After 3 hours the Filet #1 was ready (pictured on the left below). Essentially this steak is done but esthetically it is not pleasing. So, I need to sear it to get that color we are all used to on our steaks. The second Filet (pictured on the right below) was rubbed in olive oil, salt, and left out to sit for 30 minutes before grilling.
Now, what came next, was the fun part. For Filet #1 (Sous Vide) I just had to sear it for 1-2 minutes on each side. The Filet #2 (High Sear) was using the high heat searing method where I would heat the Big Green Egg up to 650° and cook it for 2 minutes each side then cap the Egg and let it cook for another 4-5 minutes. In the picture below Filet #1 (Sous Vide) is on the bottom and Filet #2 (High Sear) is on top.
Once both Filet’s were done I let them rest with a big dollop of that Sriracha compound butter on top.
Here are the Filet’s after resting 10 minutes…
I sliced each Filet and served side by side with some grilled Asparagus. The Filet #1 (Sous Vide) is on the right in the picture below and the Filet #2 (High Sear) is on the left.
The conclusion of this taste test was interesting. To be direct… there are no losers here as eating Filet Mignon makes everyone a winner!
With that said here is what I can tell you:
Filet #1 (Sous Vide) was cooked to perfection. This was a perfectly executed steak from start to finish. Other than waiting for 3 hours, this is the easiest and best way to get to a perfectly cooked steak on your Big Green Egg.
Filet #2 (High Sear) was terrific but not cooked evenly all the way through. Some spots were on the rare side while others were medium rare. I could have adjusted for that by using a Thermapen to check the temp for doneness but chose to do it “old school” by touching the meat to see if it was done.
I would say that Filet #2 cooked using high heat searing method had more of a “grilled” flavor that stood out. This aspect made it hard to pick which was better. The Sous Vide steak was perfectly cooked (and I do mean PERFECTLY) but didn’t have as much of that grilled flavor. In the end I am glad I cooked them both but going forward I will use the Sous Vide technique to get that perfect steak!