Filet mignon is known as being one of the best cuts of beef on the market.
People love to grill or sauté a great cut of filet mignon for a dinner or special meal.
One of the good things about filet mignon is that it does not usually matter which brand of filet mignon you are purchasing because the quality is always pretty consistent.
The popularity of filet mignon has only continued to grow through the years.
As people become more educated on different things, they tend to learn that there are quite a few reasons behind eating filet mignon.
We have put together five of the top reasons filet mignon is so expensive.
There is sure to be an option on our list that you will be able to relate to and learn from.
Why Is Filet Mignon So Expensive? (Top 5 Reasons)
1. Popular in Restaurants
Filet mignon is seen on many menus across the world.
This is considered a staple at many mid-to-high-end restaurants throughout the country.
Restaurants will often pair the filet mignon with a vegetable and a starch to make a well-balanced and complete meal.
When you purchase a meal like this at a restaurant, it will likely cost anywhere from $40 to $140 a plate.
This is certainly quite a bit of money to pay for a dinner, but imagine the costs when feeding an entire family.
Luckily, filet mignon is cheaper to purchase in the grocery store, yet it still can cost you quite a bit of money to put on the table.
When an item gets popular in restaurants, people want to start recreating it at home.
This concept causes the prices of filet mignon to go up at both wholesale and retail outlets.
The other reason the popularity in restaurants causes the pricing to go up is the concept of supply and demand.
Since these high-end restaurants all over the country are putting filet mignon on their menus, there is less of it available in the market.
There are large supply and demand issues related to filet mignon.
When it comes to supply and demand, the higher the demand for the product, the higher the pricing is going to be.
Essentially, if there were a lot more filet mignon to be sold, the pricing would be quite a bit more reasonable.
Think of this the next time you compare the pricing of chicken to the pricing of filet mignon.
Clearly, there are quite a few more chickens than there are filet mignons on the market.
Until restaurants decide that they don’t want to carry filet mignon, you will likely continue to see the pricing of these products continue to go up.
Sometimes it is worth trying to find cuts of filet mignon locally or start producing your own if you are trying to save some money.
2. Eight Percent of Meat
One cow will produce a good amount of meat, but the problem is it won’t produce very much tenderloin, which is where the filet mignon comes from.
When an entire cow is butchered, only about eight percent of the meat is going to be tenderloin or filet mignon.
This is a very small percentage of the entire cow, yet the demand is higher than most of the other beef products on the market.
If the cow were 92% filet mignon, then the total pricing of the filet would drop down considerably.
Essentially, this means that to produce enough filet mignon to keep up with the supply, farmers need to have a lot more cattle.
With each head of cattle that is raised, there are other issues with feeding it properly, keeping it alive, and caring for it through the years.
This process takes quite a bit of staff and attention to complete, and therefore, the pricing of the filet mignon gets even higher.
Think about the size of an average cow and you will realize that there is only about one pound of filet mignon that will come out of an entire cow.
The next time you spend a night at a steak house, think about the steak houses around the country and how many of them are also filled.
This is a large number of cows that need to be raised to fill this need.
The number of cows needed is a huge reason that the pricing of filet mignon is so expensive.
Each cow processed still takes just as much time and labor to raise, yet only 8% of it is going to produce the filet mignon.
Farmers know this when they are raising cows, and they have to make sure that they charge enough for each cut of filet or tenderloin that they sell.
When you look at the process involved and all that goes into putting a piece of filet mignon on your table, you may better understand and be able to justify the cost you are paying.
One of the main reasons that people like filet mignon so much is the texture.
The texture of the filet is very tender and easy to eat.
This makes it even more expensive.
Some beef cuts tend to be a bit chewy and will require quite a bit of work to get the beef to taste right.
The reason that the filet mignon is so tender is that it is in an area of the body that does not get all that much exercise.
The areas of the body that are continually being worked, like the lower parts of the cow, are not going to have quite as much of this tender texture.
There are other cuts of beef that are located near the top of the cow like this.
They are all considered to be higher priced and more difficult to find as well.
When a cow stands and moves all day, it tends to develop a lot of muscle.
These types of meat that are created with more muscle are not preferred, and some of it is even ground into ground beef.
If you are particular about the type of meat you eat and the exact texture of the product, filet mignon will be one of the best choices you can make.
One thing to keep in mind is that the filet mignon is consistently the most tender part of the cow, but this is not always the case.
Depending on the type of meat that you purchase, there are times when you can get a cheaper cut of meat to taste just as good.
This, of course, will take a bit more talent as a chef.
The better you are at cooking, the better you can get a cut of beef to taste, regardless of which type it is.
Sometimes when entertaining, you will want to ensure that you have a piece of meat that will taste great, and the filet can do that.
4. Butchering & Shipping
As we have mentioned, only eight percent of the cow is going to be made into this high-priced filet.
The filet is such a small portion of the cow, it needs to be handled carefully, and no part of it can be wasted when the cow is butchered.
Butchering an entire cow is a complicated process that takes some time and some education to learn.
As the farmers go through this process, you must consider how many cows they need to process.
Of course, when you consider the labor costs involved with this, you can see why the pricing will be so high.
Think about the fact that even with all of this butchering and working on the cow, you will only get about 16 oz of filet mignon from the cow.
Of course, all of the same processes and conditions need to be in place just to get this one pound of meat.
Once the meat is processed and separated, it then needs to be packaged and shipped.
Beef only has a certain lifespan once it is processed.
The beef must also stay at a very cool temperature to be able to avoid growing bacteria.
With the amount of time that a farmer has to wait for a cow to grow and be of the age that it can be used for its meat, the last thing they will want is wasted meat.
All of the meat that a cow produces needs to make it to the final destination for the profit to be there for the farmer.
Waste is only going to increase the price of the total product, and that will make it a bigger problem for the end consumer as well.
Shipping with refrigerated trucks costs quite a bit of money, and this will make it difficult for farmers to increase their profit margins on the meat they are producing.
It’s hard to get into the beef industry, and it is not something you see new businesses starting up all that often.
For all these business reasons, the filet mignon remains a very expensive cut of meat.
5. Better for You
Last but certainly not least, it has been proven that filet mignon is actually one of the healthier cuts of meat.
When you look at the filet, you will notice that there is very little marbling on the meat.
The marble is fat that is in the meat that we eat.
Sometimes having a bit of extra marbling on a steak means that you can easily incorporate more flavor.
The better flavor comes from the fat in the meat that tends to have a better, more buttery type flavor.
Since filet mignon can be very lean, it also will be healthier for your body and easier to process.
Our bodies have a much easier time processing lean meat than fattening meat.
Of course, you will need to be careful how you are preparing your filet mignon.
Since this is a lean meat, you will probably have to marinate the meat or make a sauce for it when it is served.
These things can end up adding quite a few extra calories to the food that you are eating.
Of course, you will have to be careful about the amount of fat that you add to the food that you eat, yet you will likely need to add a little to make a perfect filet mignon.
Some new products are being created that are not made from cows but are supposed to be better for humans.
This is not real meat; it is an artificial product, but it is technically easier for your body to process.
We will have to see if the addition of these products will make people move away from choosing filet mignon.
If that does start to happen, we could see a drop in the pricing that people pay for meat.
What Are the Most Expensive Cuts of Meat?
The most expensive meat in the cow is tenderloin or the filet mignon.
However, there are other cuts of meat that are also quite costly.
In addition to the filet mignon, the New York Strip tends to cost quite a bit per pound.
This is a similar lean type of cut to the filet, and therefore, it can also be a very premium cut to offer.
The New York Strip tends to give you a bit more steak for your money when you are ordering it at a restaurant.
The cut is a bit cheaper, and it will still taste almost as good as the filet.
Other top cuts of meat include the porterhouse and the T-bone steak as well.
Ribeye, flank, and skirt steak tend to be a bit cheaper, but it is still possible to prepare them with plenty of flavors if they are done right.
As you can see, the price of the steak you eat largely depends on many factors.
If you want to eat steak but don’t want to spend a lot of money, you will have to look at cuts of beef that are not quite as premium as the filet mignon.
Luckily, there are many other great choices on the market in case you need to save some money.