Looking for a stunningly gourmet dinner at home without the effort? This air fryer filet mignon is it! Cooked to juicy tender perfection every time, this dinner is sure to impress.
It’s not often we eat filet mignon but if ever there’s a time, it’s for a special dinner at home. Be it Valentine’s Day or any date-night in, this is the perfect recipe.
I’m not a big fan of grilling a delicate cut of meat like this (although my grilled venison backstrap is pretty similar and that’s stellar on the grill!) and will usually cook it stove-top in a cast iron skillet but after using the air fryer for skirt steak recently, I knew it’d also be the perfect easy method for cooking a tender, juicy filet mignon with barely any hands on time.
This recipe will impress. It’s restaurant quality (the accompanying herbed compound butter is a must!) and stunningly cooked to perfection every time for the most melt-in-your-mouth tasting filet at a fraction of the cost of ordering out.
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED
- Filet Mignon – Grab the highest quality filet mignon steaks you can find. I prefer the flavor of grass-fed and finished beef. Tenderloin steaks will also work for this recipe. They’re not exactly the same as filet mignon, but very similar. More details on that below.
- Olive Oil – The steaks get coated lightly in extra virgin olive oil before seasoning so the salt, pepper and rosemary adhere well. Again, choose a good quality olive oil. Since there are so few ingredients needed when cooking filet mignon in the air fryer, it’s best to choose the best quality you can find.
- Fresh Rosemary – Besides salt and pepper, this is the main seasoning for the steak. If you don’t have fresh, dried can be substituted. Prefer another herb like thyme or sage? Go for it!
- Salt & Pepper – Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper are all that’s needed to let the flavor of the delicate filet shine. Kosher salt can also be used. Season to your taste preferences.
FOR THE COMPOUND BUTTER
The accompanying compound butter is what takes these filet mignon steaks to the next level and it’s so simple to make!
Combine unsalted butter that’s been softened to room temperature with salt and minced fresh parsley in a bowl. Mash it all together until fully incorporated. Transfer the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper and roll into a small log shape. Twist the ends of the parchment to seal and place in the refrigerator or freezer until hardened.
This can be made in advance and kept chilled until ready to serve the steaks. Ghee can also be swapped out for the butter to make this Whole30 compliant.
If you prefer a cheesy topping to your steak, try dolloping some of this roasted garlic whipped goat cheese on top of the finished steaks instead. Give me goat cheese over blue cheese any day.
HOW TO COOK FILET MIGNON IN THE AIR FRYER
Let the steaks sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before preparing. Pat dry with a paper towel then either drizzle or brush the olive oil onto the steaks coating both sides.
Season generously with salt and pepper and sprinkle the minced rosemary all over to coat.
Transfer the seasoned filets to the racks of an air fryer (for oven models) or into the basket that’s been preheated to 400°F.
Air fry the filet mignon at 400°F until the internal temperature reaches anywhere from 125-135°F for medium-rare.
Transfer the cooked filet mignon to a cutting board and let rest for a few minutes so the juices redistribute in the meat.
Slice the compound butter into two portions and serve on top of the steaks.
From oil sprays to muffin cups and from pizza pans to racks, we've got them all, and they make fantastic Christmas presents, too!
HOW LONG DO YOU COOK FILET MIGNON IN THE AIR FRYER?
It’s best to gauge the cooking time for steak by using an instant-read digital meat thermometer rather than a specific time.
As every steak varies in thickness and both ovens and air fryers vary in power, it’s the only accurate way to successfully cook meat to the desired doneness.
I personally like to pull beef around 125°F for the perfect medium-rare finish. The temperature will continue to rise a few degrees after the steak is pulled and it rests.
For these specific 2″-2.5″ thick filet mignon steaks, it took just about 15 minutes in my oven model air fryer to cook to the medium-rare you see in the pictures.
I typically never suggest cooking beef beyond medium, especially a tender delicate cut like filet mignon but here are the temperature ranges for all levels of doneness:
FILET MIGNON VS. TENDERLOIN
Many think these two cuts of beef are the same but, while similar, they are not exactly the same.
Filet mignon is part of the beef tenderloin. It’s cut from the narrow tip of the tenderloin in the short loin region of the cow. The entire tenderloin extends from this tip (the filet mignon) towards the back of the cow into the sirloin area.
Both cuts are mouthwateringly juicy and tender as well as incredibly lean.
Tenderloin is a better option for feeding a crowd since it tends to be cut like a roast whereas filet mignon is cut into steaks for individual portions since it’s a much smaller area within the cow.
If you have tenderloin on hand, these garlic butter steak bites are another incredibly tasty and impressive recipe to try.
HOW TO SERVE AIR FRIED FILET MIGNON
When the steak is the star of the show like these filets, you don’t need much else to round out the meal. I suggest some roasted potatoes and your favorite simple vegetable.
I’m always partial to serving greens with this type of meal like these sautéed beet and Swiss chard greens or kohlrabi greens with bacon as they’re simple, quick and don’t detract from the flavorful steak.
TIPS & TRICKS
- Don’t overcook! If nothing else, pretty please do not overcook the filet mignon. It’s best to pull it from the air fryer sooner rather than later. It can always be cooked longer if necessary. But really, it’s basically a sin to eat filet mignon past medium!
- Let the steaks rest – I know you’re eager to cut into these beauties but letting them rest for 5 minutes is crucial to a juicy steak.
- Season well – Don’t under season the steak. Be generous with the salt, pepper and rosemary.
- Bringing to room temperature – When the steak comes to room temperature before cooking, it cooks more evenly.
- Don’t skip the compound butter – This is that extra element that really takes the filet mignon to the next level! Since this cut of beef is so lean, the butter is an important part of bringing that rich flavor you’d get at a restaurant from this steak.
MORE IMPRESSIVE DINNERS LIKE THIS:
And if you’d like to try a different a method, reverse searing is also a wonderful way to cook filet mignon. Check out this reverse seared tri tip for all the details. It requires a little more time than the air fryer but the golden crust at the end is worth it!
Super Tender Air Fryer Filet Mignon
- 1 pound filet mignon or beef tenderloin, 2 pieces, about 8 ounces each 2″ thick each
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced
- salt & pepper to taste
Compound Herb Butter
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Make the compound butter by combining the ingredients in a small bowl. Mash together until fully combined. Transfer onto a piece of parchment paper and roll into a log shape. Place in the refrigerator (or freezer if pressed for time) until hardened.
- Let the beef sit out at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before cooking. Pat dry with paper towels then drizzle the olive oil over each piece of beef, rubbing onto both sides. Season one side of the meat with the minced rosemary, salt and pepper then flip over and repeat with the other side, pressing the seasoning into the meat using your hands.
- Place in a 400°F air fryer (preheat for basket models) and cook for about 12-15 minutes depending on your preferred doneness and how thick the filet is. For medium-rare, the filet should read between 125°-135° (see notes).
- Remove from the air fryer and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Slice the compound butter into two portions and top the beef to serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.