Filet mignon is considered one of the most decadent and luxurious cuts of beef. With its extreme tenderness and buttery texture, this cut comes at a premium price point. But exactly how much does filet mignon cost per pound?
And what factors influence the market rate for this high-quality meat? This article will provide a comprehensive overview of filet mignon pricing so you can make informed purchasing decisions.
- Filet mignon costs $14 to $25 per pound on average
- Huge price ranges exist based on grade, retailer, origin, cut, and market factors
- Butcher shops offer premium quality and service for $17 to $29 per pound
- Consider bulk buying and preparation strategies to maximize your budget
- Treat filet mignon as an occasional indulgence within budgetary limits
How Much Does Filet Mignon Cost Per Pound?
Across grocery stores, butcher shops, and online retailers in the United States, the average price for filet mignon ranges from $14 to $25 per pound. However, prices can go as low as $7 per pound on sale or as high as $50 per pound for USDA Prime grade beef from premium purveyors.
The wide range in filet mignon prices stems from variables like the grade of beef (Prime, Choice, Select), cut (center-cut, tail, petite), source (small farm, large producer), and retailer (butcher shop, big box store).
Seasonality, geography, and external market factors like feed costs and supply chain issues also impact the cost.
Filet Mignon Prices Across Retailers
Where you buy filet mignon greatly affects how much you’ll pay per pound. Here’s a price comparison of three common retail channels:
Butcher Shops: Skilled butchers hand-select cuts, providing peak freshness, quality, and service. But these value-adds come at a premium – expect to pay $17 to $29 per pound at local butcher shops.
Grocery Stores: National chains like Kroger and Safeway offer lower prices for convenience but less consistency in cuts. Filet mignon costs $14 to $24 per pound at leading grocers.
Online Retailers: Buying filet mignon online from retailers like Omaha Steaks provides convenience but the least transparency on cut quality. Expect to pay $15 to $35 per pound, not including shipping costs.
According to Tru Organic Beef, the average price for certified organic and verified grass-fed filet mignon ranges between $48 and $60 per pound. The price for conventional grain-fed USDA Choice beef filet mignon ranges from $20 to $25 per pound when purchased directly from a farmer, $30 to $40 per pound at a grocery store, $28 to $45 per pound at a local butcher, and $65 to $120 per pound at a restaurant or steakhouse.
Red Barn Meats offers beef tenderloin steak for filet mignon at a price of $24.99 per pound. However, they only offer pickup or local delivery in New York State.
Lobel’s of New York offers USDA Prime filet mignon at a price of $49.95 for a 6 oz. steak, $59.95 for an 8 oz. steak, and $69.95 for a 10 oz. steak.
Farmingdale Meat Market offers USDA Choice filet mignon steaks at a price of $38.99 per pound.
Why Filet Mignon Costs More Internationally
Imported filet mignon can cost two to three times more per pound than domestic beef in the U.S. In Japan, filet mignon retails for over $80 per pound at high-end grocery stores. The key reasons for elevated international prices include:
- Import taxes and duties
- High transportation costs
- Overseas refrigeration and special handling
- Exchange rates between currencies
- Limited cattle supply in some countries
Market Factors Influencing Filet Mignon Prices
Several interconnected market components impact the retail price we pay for filet mignon:
Cattle Supplies: Drops in breeding stock mean less cattle reaching maturity and entering the beef supply chain. Lower supply drives filet mignon prices up.
Feed Costs: As essential cattle feed ingredients like corn and soy become more expensive, those input costs get passed onto meat prices.
Demand for Premium Cuts: Growing consumer appetite for high-end steaks like filet mignon increases demand, again pushing prices higher.
Seasonality: Grill season spikes demand for steaks in summer, elevating prices over the warmer months compared to winter lows.
Hidden Costs of Purchasing Filet Mignon
Beyond just the retail price per pound, other hidden costs can quickly increase your total expenditure on filet mignon:
Transportation: Unless you live next door to a butcher shop, factor in fuel costs and potential ice packs to safely get your filet mignon home. Online shipping fees also apply.
Storage: To safely store filet mignon, you may need to invest in a standalone freezer or at least specialty meat packaging. Improper storage leads to waste.
Preparation Loss: Trimming and cutting filet mignon during prep results in loss of edible meat, effectively increasing costs. Plus added ingredients to cook the steak also carry a price tag.
Bulk Buying vs. Individual Cuts
From a cost perspective, buying whole beef tenderloins and portioning them into filet mignon steaks yourself yields the best value per pound. But this route requires a significant upfront investment of over $100 or more for a full tenderloin. You’ll also need proper equipment and skill to fabricate uniform steaks.
Alternatively, purchasing individual pre-cut filet mignon steaks offers convenience at a premium. Specialty cuts like center-cut filets are even pricier per pound. It’s a trade-off between cost savings and convenience.
Impact of Beef Grade and Cut on Filet Mignon Prices
Not all filet mignon is created equal. The USDA grade and specific cut have a dramatic impact on the price per pound:
- Prime Grade: The top grade denoted extreme marbling and tenderness. Prime filet mignon costs $18 to $55+ per pound.
- Choice Grade: High quality with less marbling than Prime, Choice grade costs closer to $14 to $25 per pound.
- Center-Cut Filet: The most tender sub-cut from the middle of the tenderloin. Center-cut costs $25 to $60+ per pound.
Scoring Filet Mignon at a Discount
While filet mignon carries premium pricing, you can still find ways to get it for less:
- Buy post-holiday: Prices dip after peak cooking holidays like Christmas, Fourth of July, etc.
- Purchase whole tenderloins: Breaking down into steaks yourself yields the best price per pound.
- Substitute with hanger steak: Much cheaper but offers a similar tenderness and flavor.
- Use portioning and slow cooking: Smaller cuts paired with slow moist cooking maximizes value.
Filet Mignon Within a Budget-Conscious Kitchen
Filet mignon may seem out of reach, but a few tricks make it work within a budget:
- Treat it as a splurge ingredient: Use small servings of filet mignon to elevate less expensive cuts in meals.
- Spatchcock a whole tenderloin: Roast an entire tenderloin for multiple meals at a lower cost per serving.
- Skewer for kebabs: Mix with veggies for kebabs to spread a pound across more portions.
The key is balancing your budget with the occasional splurge on prime ingredients like filet mignon. A little can go a long way!
Splurging on filet mignon may carry a hefty price tag, but understanding the factors that influence its cost per pound can help inform smart purchasing decisions. With the right strategies, you can enjoy this luxe cut within reasonable budget parameters.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is filet mignon so expensive?
Filet mignon is one of the most expensive cuts of beef for several reasons:
- It comes from the tenderloin, the most naturally tender part of the cow with very little connective tissue. This premium location on the cow drives up costs.
- Filet mignon is always cut from high-quality beef graded Prime or Choice for exceptional tenderness and flavor. Lower graded beef cannot be sold as filet mignon.
- As a luxury item, filet mignon is in high demand globally. Limited supply but consistent demand keeps prices high.
- Insuring consistent sizing, trim, and quality requires extra time and skill from butchers and meat purveyors, again raising prices.
- The restaurant and hospitality industry relies heavily on filet mignon for fine dining menus and banquets, allowing costs to remain elevated.
- As beef production costs rise, those increases get passed onto premium cuts like filet mignon through every step of the supply chain.
In short, you pay a premium for filet mignon because of its desirable tenderness, strict grading standards, worldwide popularity, artisanal prep, and overall positioning as a luxury ingredient. The high demand supports the elevated prices charged for genuine filet mignon.
Is filet mignon worth it?
Whether or not filet mignon is “worth it” comes down to your individual budget and priorities as an informed beef buyer and cook.
On the other hand, other cuts like ribeye or New York strip offer more robust beefiness and often more value for your dollar. If cost is your prime concern, filet mignon may not seem worth the price tag.
Here are some tips on maximizing the value of filet mignon to make it a worthwhile purchase:
- Seek out sales, bulk deals, or alternative suppliers like local butchers to find lower prices.
- Use portioning techniques and slower cooking methods to make each pound stretch further.
- Consider substituting filet mignon with more affordable tenderloin tips or petite tender medallions when cost is prohibitive.
- Use filet mignon sparingly to elevate other less expensive ingredients instead of as the main dish.
- Purchase whole tenderloins and butcher them into steaks yourself for significant cost savings.
With the right purchasing and cooking strategies, filet mignon can become a justifiable splurge for beef lovers. But it requires planning and purpose to maximize your investment in this luxury cut.
How unhealthy is filet mignon?
While often viewed as an indulgent, fatty red meat, filet mignon has some redeeming nutritional qualities:
- It is very lean, with minimal marbling even in Prime grade beef. A 3-ounce filet has under 4 grams of saturated fat.
- Filet mignon is an excellent source of protein, providing over 50% of your daily value per serving.
- It also supplies key nutrients like iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
However, consuming filet mignon and other red meats in excess has been linked to increased health risks:
- The high saturated fat content may negatively impact heart health when eaten regularly.
- Carcinogens form during high-heat cooking methods like grilling and pan frying.
- Heme iron found in beef may increase cancer risk according to some studies.
Moderating portion sizes of even the most premium beef cuts is key. Enjoy filet mignon as the occasional treat it is meant to be, not an everyday staple. Pair it with veggies and use healthier cooking methods like sous vide. This allows you to savor filet mignon while limiting any detrimental health impacts.