Attention all steak-loving carnivores: Raise your knives and prepare the Béarnaise Sauce, because it's time to celebrate the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth cut of steak — filet mignon. National Filet Mignon Day falls on Aug. 13, and it's the perfect excuse to break out everyone's favorite kitchen appliance and air fry those steaks.
That's right: You don't need to reach for a grill or messy broiler pan next time you're cooking steaks for date night — preparing fillet in your air fryer is as easy as 1-2-3 and it's mouthwateringly delicious.
Jessica Randhawa, a chef and owner of food blog the Forked Spoon tells Yahoo Life it's completely acceptable to air fry fillet mignon. But what exactly are the benefits to air-fried fillet? I followed Randhawa's method of cooking filet mignon in the air fryer and found the process to be much easier than cooking steak on a grill or the stove. In fact, I'd say Randhawa's method is impossible to screw up — and even the pickiest eaters at my dinner table gave it rave reviews.
The cooking process is also less likely to result in burns or kitchen fires. "Air frying filet mignon is safer than grilling," says Randhawa, "as there are no grease flare-ups."
"Air-fried steak is cooked more precisely every time," she adds, "as the hot air circulation is more even and the temperature is more easily controlled." As an added bonus, post dinner clean-up is also contained, quick and easy.
There are also added health benefits. According to Randhawa, an air fryer requires less oil and home cooks can control how much (if any) they use. Fat also melts off of the beef as it cooks, leaving the same great juicy taste and fewer calories and saturated fat. It's a win-win.
What to know before air-frying filet mignon
Internal temperatures for cooking fillet mignon to desired doneness:
120 F: Rare
130 F: Medium-rare
140 F: Medium
150 F: Medium-well
160 F: Well-done
The suggested temperature for fillet mignon via air fryer is medium or medium rare, according to Randhawa. Cook times vary based on different appliances, so have that meat thermometer ready.
The steaks will continue to cook for another five degrees or so while resting, so remove the steak from the air fryer about five degrees before it reaches the desired internal temperature.
When placing fillet in an air fryer, be sure to place the steaks in a single layer, not touching each other or the walls of the basket.
Ingredients (and materials) for making filet mignon in an air fryer
2 to 4 filet mignon steaks, 4 to 6 ounces each
1 and ½ teaspoon salt
1 and ½ teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
Randhawa's step-by-step instructions for air-frying filet mignon
Allow filet mignon to come to room temperature on the kitchen counter by removing the steaks from the refrigerator at least 45 minutes before cooking.
Preheat air fryer to 400 F.
Pat filet mignon dry with paper towels.
Season the meat on all sides with salt and freshly-ground black pepper. (Possible seasoning variations include adding garlic powder or substituting steak seasoning for salt and pepper.)
Place the seasoned filet mignon into the air fryer basket.
For medium-rare steaks, air fry until the internal temperature of the center of the steak is 130 F, which will take approximately 11-13 minutes.
Once the filet mignon has reached the desired temperature, remove the steaks from the air fryer basket.
Add two tablespoons of butter on top of each steak and cover with a foil tent to trap the heat. Allow the steak to rest for five minutes before serving.
Looking for the best side dishes for air-fried filet mignon? Enjoy your steaks with Randhawa's air fryer asparagus, or whip up some air fryer baked potatoes, which, Randhawa says are just like your favorite restaurant-quality baked potatoes with crispy skin and tender, fluffy insides for an ideal filet mignon side dish.
Wellness, parenting, body image and more: Get to know the who behind the hoo with Yahoo Life's newsletter. Sign up here.