Are Prime Rib vs Filet Mignon The same? [Price, Taste & Pro Tip]

Ah, there is nothing finer than the satisfying feeling of sinking your teeth into some quality steak.

We often hear that there is nothing better than a prime rib or a filet mignon, but what does this really mean? Is there a difference between these two cuts of meat? 

Both prime rib and filet mignon are deemed upscale cuts of meat. Prime rib is larger and fattier, and is collected from the cow’s rib area. It is cooked with a bone in it. Filet mignon is the smaller, more tender part near the tenderloin. It’s less fatty than prime rib and melts in your mouth. Finally, Raw prime rib is between $13 to $18 per pound , while filet mignon is typically $20 to $25 per pound.

A true steak lover will want to know all the differences between a prime rib and a filet mignon cut. So, why not talk about it?

Are Prime Rib And Filet Mignon The Same Thing?

Before we get into the details of each type of meat, it’s important to recognize that prime rib and filet mignon are not the same thing.

While they both are taken from the rib area of the cow, they come from different sections of the rib and have starkly different traits.

Prime Rib and Fillet Mignon

Prime Rib vs Filet Mignon

Both filets and prime ribs are excellent cuts of meat to enjoy. They are a symbol of wealth and status.

To understand each cut of meat, we’re going to give you a basic introduction to them.

Prime Rib

As the name suggests, prime rib is a cut of meat that can be found in the rib area between ribs 7 and 11.

(Some also say between 6 to 12.) This part of the cow is quite fatty, which leads to the luxurious marbling that people love. It’s a very pretty steak.

Prime rib can have a bunch of different looks and thicknesses. It can be a single slice of steak with a bone in it, like in restaurants.

Or, it can refer to a massive rack of ribs that is cooked and sliced for a bunch of people to enjoy. 

Because it is a part of the rib area, butchers will include a bone in this cut of meat.

Cooking prime rib with the bone in helps keep the rib nice and buttery. All parts of a prime rib will include ribeye steak. Yum!

How To Cook Prime Rib

Prime rib is best done as a roast with a slow heat that penetrates the entire cut of meat.

This is why prime rib is often called “rib roast.” Rib roast is the full ribeye steak, when roasted.

The actual term “prime rib” deals with the cut of meat that comes from a roasted ribeye steak.

Ribeye is the large portion, prime rib is a slice of said steak with bone in it.

Obviously, roasting this cut in its own juices is the default and traditional option. It helps reduce the toughness of the meat.

This is doubly true when you’re cooking it “bone in.” However, modern chefs have been known to cook prime rib through a wide range of different methods—including grilling and searing. 

While searing and grilling may be doable, the truth is that the results are mixed at best.

Stick to roasting if you are not used to fat dripping into the fire from a grill or if you want to have a guaranteed good result.

Why Do People Like Prime Rib?

People who are fans of flavor are the ones who typically choose prime rib.

A well-cooked prime rib will offer you a buttery, almost sweet aftertaste along with a strong flavor of beef.

Many gourmet fans would agree that prime rib is one of the most flavorful cuts of steak.

Simply put, prime rib offers a lot of beef and a lot of flavor, all done up in an elegant cut. It’s hard to hate a nicely done prime rib.

Filet Mignon

Small and ideal for people who have a need for portion control, filet mignon comes from the tenderloin area of the cow.

This is a small portion of the cow that’s only found right under the rib. Filet mignon doesn’t have a high fat content like prime rib, so it’s more about texture than flavor. 

Fillet Mignon

A good filet mignon, cooked well, will almost feel like it’s dissolving in your mouth. This is why it’s considered to be one of the finest cuts of meat.

It’s more delicate, and because it also has a very compact look, it tends to be better for plating, too.

How To Cook Filet Mignon

Filet mignon doesn’t have the high fat and muscle content that prime rib does, nor does it have the bone to help retain moisture.

As a result, roasting is not ideal. Faster methods, such as frying or searing this cut of meat, are far better.

When cooking filet mignon, the key thing to remember is that you shouldn’t leave it in heat for too long.

Burned filet mignon can lose the trademark texture that people love. It’s best to let it get to 135 degrees for a medium rare cook.

Once it’s reached the desired temperature, let it sit for 20 minutes.

Why Do People Like Filet Mignon?

Filet mignon is not as famous for a rich, buttery flavor like prime rib. Rather, the flavor with a good filet mignon tends to be more nuanced.

The reason why people prefer filet mignon is because of its amazingly tender, melty texture. 

Which Is More Expensive, Filet Mignon Or Prime Rib?

This depends on how you’re looking at the price tag.

In a restaurant, a prime rib will generally be more expensive since there will be far more meat on your plate and it takes longer to cook.

Cooking time will make a huge difference in price, but that will vary from restaurant to restaurant.

However, when it comes to a pound-for-pound price tag, a filet mignon will always be pricier than prime rib of the same quality.

Raw prime rib is between $13 to $18 per pound , while filet mignon is typically $20 to $25 per pound.

Filet is more expensive simply because there’s less of it to go around. With that said, a lot of people would say that it is worth the money. 

What Other Steak Cuts Get Mistaken For Prime Rib?

Filet mignon is rarely ever mistaken for anything else, though a thin-sliced tenderloin can sometimes trick people into thinking you’ve gotten filet.

Prime rib, on the other hand, can get mistaken for a wide range of different meat cuts. It also has several variations. These are the most common:

  • Rib Roast. This is the term for prime rib before it’s cut. It’s the entire bulk of the meat is roasted, hence the rib roast.
  • Ribeye. Technically, this is the same thing as prime rib. However, there’s one big difference. Prime rib is ribeye steak that still has the bone in it. Ribeye is just the meat alone, and is generally grilled for a smokier finish. 
  • Cowboy Steak. This is technically just a large ribeye big enough for two people. If it’s a bone-in cowboy steak, then it’s a large prime rib big enough for two to eat. This often looks like an exaggerated piece of meat.
  • Cowgirl Steak. This often difficult-to-find cut of meat is a Cowboy steak that had the top of the bone shaved off, exposing the marrow. It’s sometimes slightly smaller and is noted for having a distinctly savory flavor thanks to the marrow’s contribution.
  • Tomahawk Steak. This is a prime rib that has an extra large, long bone. It looks like a large axe made of meat, or like a steak that Fred Flintstone would eat. 

Which Steak Should You Eat?

If you are looking for a light and satisfying meal, then you should opt for the filet mignon, possibly with a side of salad.

Filet mignon is great if you are a texture-oriented eater who wants mild flavor but soft, delicate meat.

On the other hand, if you want to have a party in your mouth, then the rich flavors of a ribeye will be your best bet.

Prime rib is excellent for people who love the buttery goodness of a high fat steak. It can be tougher. 

When it comes to terms of cooking style, the answer is pretty clear and simple. If you want a roast, then it’s going to be prime rib.

If you want a grilled slice of meat, then filet mignon is the better choice. 

Which Is Better, Filet Mignon Or Prime Rib?

There is no honest way to answer this question, since it’s highly subjective.

You cannot really compare a prime rib and a filet mignon—at least when it comes to saying which one is “better.”

Both filet mignon and prime rib are excellent cuts of meat that are sure to please a steak fan. Filet mignon and prime rib are both great in their own unique ways.

Since everything from their flavor to their texture are vastly different, it’s best to take the time to appreciate each cut in its own glory. No matter which one you choose, you’ll be bound to adore it.

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