Beef Essentials: The Best Skillet/Oven-Baked Filet

Andy Anderson !


A good filet needs very little… some bacon, butter, salt and pepper. That is about it.

This method is virtually foolproof, because what we are relying on is temperature… it is all about the degrees.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


★★★★★ 1 vote

30 Min
10 Min



  • 2 slice
    bacon, organic, uncured
  • 1 Tbsp
    grapeseed oil
  • 1
    filet of beef, about 5 ounces (140g)
  • 1 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  • ·
    salt, kosher variety, to taste
  • ·
    black pepper, coarsely ground, to taste

How to Make Beef Essentials: The Best Skillet/Oven-Baked Filet


  2. For this recipe to work for you, you will need an instant-read thermometer. Better yet, a remote instant-read thermometer that you can stick into the filet, and watch the temperature from outside the oven.
    In addition, you will need an ovenproof, heavy-bottom pan. My recommendation would be cast iron. If you do not have any cast iron skillets, you should pick one or two up. They are not very expensive, and are so versatile.
  3. Later in this recipe, I give you the proper temperatures to use based on the “doneness” of the filet. Understand that the steak will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven; this is a process known as “carryover cooking.” While it is resting, the internal temperature will raise 4 – 5 degrees. Therefore, it is very important that you remove the steak from the oven when it is about 5 degrees lower than what you want.
  4. Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  5. Wrap the two strips of bacon around the filet, and secure with a toothpick, then coat with the grapeseed oil, and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Chef’s Note: When we did these at one of the restaurants I worked at, we called the bacon a “girdle.” We would use it to push the filet together, and into a uniform thickness.
  7. Allow the filet to rest for thirty minutes.
  8. Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 425f (220c).
  9. Add the skillet to a burner over high heat, and when it heats up, drop in the filet.
  10. Chef’s Tip: When adding the filet, you should hear a nice satisfying sizzle.
  11. Sear for about 1 minute, and then flip and sear the other side.
  12. Chef’s Tip: It might take more than a minute, or it might take slightly less. The trick is to take a pair of tongs, grab the filet, and try to move it. If it is still sticking to the bottom of the skillet, it is not ready. If it releases, it is time to turn it.
  13. Place the tablespoon of butter on top, and bake in the preheated oven.
  14. This is where the instant-read thermometer come into play.
    Extra Rare – very red and cold 115f - 120f (46c – 49c)
    Rare – cold red center, soft 125 – 130f (52c – 55c)
    Medium Rare – warm red center, firmer 130f – 140f (55c – 60c)
    Medium – small amount of pink in the center 140f – 150f (60c – 65c)
    Medium Well – small amount of pink in the center 150f – 155f (65c – 68c)

    You will notice that I did not give a temperature for well-done… that is because I do not do “well-done.” In fact, most of the restaurants that I have cooked in over the years, if a customer wanted their steak “burnt.” we would instruct the waitstaff, to tell them, they could not return the steak.
  15. When I worked at Diamond’s Jims (a big steak house in Chicago), I cooked literally thousands of filets (usually 70 – 80 a night), and we used a slightly different method… we used time.
    We had two big ovens set to temp, and would prep and sear the steak, place it in the oven and set a timer. I knew exactly how much time was required to get the perfect steak. I could do that because we received our meat from the same butcher, and the filets were always of the same quality, the same thickness, and the temp of the grill, and the oven were precisely calibrated.
    The home chef usually does not have that kind of consistency, so a good instant-read thermometer is essential.
  16. Here are some of the models that I own… I have more, but I could not fit them into the picture :-)
  18. If you want to be decedent, when the filet comes out of the oven, place a knob of compound butter on top, and then serve with your favorite sides. Enjoy.

    FYI: A "knob" is more of an expression than an exact measurement.
  19. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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About Beef Essentials: The Best Skillet/Oven-Baked Filet

Course/Dish: Beef
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: American
Dietary Needs: Wheat Free Soy Free
Other Tag: Quick & Easy

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