Filet mignon is a tender, flavorful cut of beef that can be prepared in a variety of ways. One increasingly popular method is to air fry filet mignon to achieve a crispy exterior and juicy, tender interior. Air frying uses hot air circulation to crisp and cook foods, resulting in a similar texture as deep frying but with significantly less oil.
When air frying filet mignon, the most important factor to get right is the temperature. Setting the correct air fryer temperature ensures the filet gets thoroughly cooked while remaining juicy and avoiding overcooking. So what is the best temperature range to air fry filets to perfection?
What is Filet Mignon?
Filet mignon comes from the tenderloin, the most tender cut of beef located along the cow’s spine. It is known for its melt-in-your-mouth texture and mild, refined flavor.
True filet mignon is cut from the center of the tenderloin and is typically 1.5 to 2 inches thick. When cut into individual steaks, filet mignon is the most expensive cut of steak, reflecting its highly desirable tenderness and flavor.
Benefits of Air Frying Filet Mignon
Air frying filet mignon provides several advantages over other cooking methods:
– Less oil and fat: Air frying uses little to no oil compared to deep frying, resulting in lower fat and calorie content.
– Crispy exterior: The hot circulating air crisp the exterior to perfection.
– Tender and juicy interior: The middle remains medium-rare and tender without overcooking.
– Quick and easy: Filets cook fast in the air fryer, with no need for turning.
– Versatile: Air fryers can cook filets from frozen or thawed.
– Potentially more affordable: With less waste from only cooking choice cuts, air frying filet mignon can be cost-effective.
Best Air Fryer Temperatures for Filet Mignon
When air frying filet mignon, use temperatures between 370°F to 400°F (188°C to 205°C). This allows the exterior to quickly become crisp and browned while the center remains pink and juicy.
Here is more detail on the ideal air fryer temperature range for filet mignon:
370°F to 380°F (188°C to 193°C)
Cooking filet mignon at the lower end of the recommended air fryer temperature range allows the inside to come up to the desired doneness slowly while the outside develops a crispy crust. 370°F to 380°F gives fantastic results for 1 to 2 inch filets.
At these temperatures, expect cooking times around:
– 1 inch thick filets: 12-15 minutes
– 1.5 inch filets: 15-18 minutes
– 2 inch filets: 18-22 minutes
380°F to 390°F (193°C to 199°C)
Increasing the temperature slightly to 380°F up to 390°F is ideal for getting a crispy exterior on thicker filet cuts while keeping the center perfectly medium-rare.
Cooking times will be a bit faster in this range:
– 1 inch thick filets: 10-12 minutes
– 1.5 inch filets: 12-15 minutes
– 2 inch filets: 16-20 minutes
This temperature creates the ultimate air fried filet with a browned, textured crust and tender interior.
390°F to 400°F (199°C to 205°C)
For very thick filet cuts of 2-inches or larger, bumping up to 390°F or 400°F crisps the exterior while allowing the heat to properly penetrate and cook the steak through.
At these higher air fryer temperatures, the approximate cook times are:
– 1 inch thick filets: 8-10 minutes
– 1.5 inch filets: 10-12 minutes
– 2 inch filets: 14-18 minutes
– 2.5+ inch filets: 18-22 minutes
Higher temperatures yield well-browned and crispy results but be careful not to overcook the inside.
Tips for Air Frying Filet Mignon
Follow these tips for flawlessly air fried filet mignon:
– Pat steaks dry – Blot filets with a paper towel before air frying for optimal browning and crisping.
– Use a meat thermometer – Insert a digital instant read thermometer to check for doneness instead of relying on cook time alone.
– Allow meat to rest – Let filets rest 5-10 minutes after cooking before cutting to allow juices to redistribute.
– Rub with oil – Lightly coat filets with a thin layer of oil like avocado, grapeseed, or olive oil before air frying.
– Season generously – Filet mignon benefits from bold seasoning. Coat with cracked pepper, garlic, herbs, spice rubs, or steak seasoning blends.
– Flip halfway – For even cooking, flip steaks over about halfway through the cook time.
– Add butter – Top with butter pats or compound butter in the last 2-3 minutes for extra richness.
The Best Internal Temperature for Filet Mignon
Since filet mignon is lean yet delicate, with little intramuscular fat, the ideal doneness is medium-rare to maintain tenderness and juiciness.
When air frying filet mignon, cook to the following internal temperatures using an instant read thermometer:
|Rare||120°F to 125°F (49°C to 52°C)|
|Medium Rare||130°F to 135°F (54°C to 57°C)|
|Medium||140°F to 145°F (60°C to 63°C)|
The most ideal doneness for filet mignon is medium-rare, between 130°F to 135°F internally. This produces a steak that is rosy pink inside with a tender, melt-in-your mouth texture.
Allow for carryover cooking and remove filets from the air fryer 5°F before they reach the desired temperature. The temperature will continue increasing by around 5°F after removed from the heat.
Preventing Dry, Overcooked Filet Mignon
Filet mignon dries out easily since it contains little fat. Avoid overcooking and drying out your filets when air frying by:
– Cooking at the right air fryer temperature based on thickness.
– Using a meat thermometer to monitor doneness rather than relying solely on cook time.
– Allowing meat to rest before slicing into it.
– Slicing across the grain which breaks up the muscle fibers.
– Serving with a flavorful sauce, compound butter, or chimmichurri to keep filets moist.
– Wrapping thinner filets in bacon to provide insulation and fat.
– Checking often near the end of cook time and removing immediately when desired doneness is reached.
– Poking small holes to help cook evenly and prevent bulging thicker parts.
With the proper air fryer temperature and technique, you can achieve tender, juicy filet mignon easily at home. Follow these guidelines for perfect results!
Air frying filet mignon produces juicy, tender steaks with a crispy crust when using the right temperature settings. The optimal air fryer temperature range for filets is 370°F to 400°F (188°C to 205°C). Lower temperatures around 370°F are ideal for thinner cuts while thicker filets benefit from 390°F to 400°F to crisp the outside without overcooking. Cook filet mignon to medium-rare doneness, between 130°F to 135°F internally, for the best texture and moisture. Use a thermometer to monitor temperature and remove filets just before they reach desired doneness to account for carryover cooking. Following these simple tips will help you achieve perfectly air fried filet mignon.