How to Grill Filet Mignon on Charcoal: A Perfect Steak Guide

Published By Kevin Turner

Last Updated Feb 6, 2024 is reader-supported. If you buy something using the links on our site, we might earn an affiliate commission at no added cost to you. This helps us pay our staff to keep making awesome content for you!

grilled filet mignon
Table of Contents

    Struggling to grill the perfect filet mignon on charcoal? I’ve been there too! Did you know that choosing the right cut of meat is crucial for a delicious outcome? In this article, I’ll share my grilling techniques and tips to help you master the art of grilling filet mignon on charcoal. Get ready to elevate your steak game!

    Key Takeaways

    • Select a high – quality filet mignon with fine marbling to ensure juicy and flavorful results on the grill.
    • Season your steak generously with salt, pepper, and optional herbs or garlic for added flavor, then let it rest at room temperature before grilling.
    • Preheat your charcoal grill to a high heat of 400 – 450°F for optimal cooking conditions and use a meat thermometer to gauge doneness according to preference.
    • Let the grilled filet mignon rest after cooking so juices can redistribute, making the steak tender and full of flavor when sliced.
    • Achieve professional – looking diamond grill marks by placing steaks diagonally on the hot grate, rotating once during cooking, and flipping only as necessary.


    Why filet mignon is a popular steak choice

    Filet mignon holds a special place in steak lovers’ hearts for its exceptional tenderness and delicate flavor. This renowned cut comes from the smaller end of the beef tenderloin, making it both lean and lusciously soft.

    Chefs and home cooks alike prize it for its elegance on the plate, often considering filet mignon as the go-to choice for a luxurious dining experience. It grills up beautifully with just a bit of seasoning, letting its natural taste shine through.

    Its popularity also stems from the relatively quick cooking time compared to thicker cuts of beef, allowing me to create an impressive meal without spending hours at the grill. With my butcher’s tips tucked away, I’m ready to select an impeccable piece that promises nothing short of culinary perfection—moving seamlessly into choosing and preparing this premium cut is crucial in achieving that unforgettable steak dinner.

    Choosing and Preparing the Filet Mignon

    When it comes to choosing a filet mignon, I always look for a high-quality cut with marbling that will ensure a juicy and flavorful steak. After selecting the perfect cut, proper seasoning is key to enhancing the natural flavors of the meat before grilling.

    Choosing a high-quality cut of meat

    To ensure your grilled filet mignon is mouthwateringly tender, start by selecting the right cut of meat. Visit a reputable butcher and ask for their tips for filet mignon; they often stock the freshest, most prime options.

    Look for meat with a rich red color, minimal connective tissue, and marbling that looks like fine webbing throughout the steak. This fat marbling melts during grilling and bathes each bite in flavor.

    Make sure to choose steaks that are at least 1.5 inches thick which allows you to create a beautifully seared crust while achieving perfect medium-rare doneness on the inside if desired.

    A high-quality cut makes all the difference because it ensures your efforts behind the grill pay off with every satisfying forkful of perfectly grilled steak. Always opt for premium quality beef as it elevates your barbecuing experience from simple cooking to an art form where each juicy slice speaks volumes about your grilling prowess.

    Properly seasoning the filet mignon

    After choosing a high-quality cut of meat, the next step is to properly season the filet mignon. This is essential to enhance the natural flavor of the steak and create a delicious crust when grilling. Here’s how to season your filet mignon for the perfect charcoal-grilled steak:


    1. Liberally coat both sides of the filet mignon with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. This simple seasoning combination brings out the natural flavors of the meat.
    2. Consider adding some minced garlic or finely chopped herbs such as rosemary or thyme to infuse additional depth of flavor into the steak.
    3. Drizzle a light coat of olive oil over the seasoned filet mignon to help create a caramelized crust while grilling.
    4. For an extra kick of flavor, you can use a pre – made steak rub or seasoning blend, ensuring that it complements the delicate taste of filet mignon without overwhelming it.
    5. Gently massage the seasonings into the meat, ensuring that they adhere to both sides of the filet mignon evenly.
    6. Let the seasoned filet mignon rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling, allowing time for the flavors to meld with the meat.


    Grilling Techniques for Filet Mignon

    Once the grill is preheated, carefully place the seasoned filet mignon on the grill grates. Use a meat thermometer to determine the cooking time based on your desired level of doneness.

    Keep a close eye on the steak and use tongs to flip it for even cooking.

    Preheating the grill

    Before grilling, I always preheat the charcoal grill for about 15-20 minutes. This ensures that the grill reaches the optimal temperature for cooking filet mignon – a high heat of around 400-450°F.

    I prefer using a chimney starter to light the charcoal, allowing it to reach a glowing orange before spreading it evenly in the bottom of the grill for even heat distribution.

    Once ready, I make sure to clean and oil the grill grates using a pair of tongs and a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil. This prevents sticking and helps achieve those beautiful grill marks on my filet mignon while imparting a subtle smoky flavor from the charcoal.

    Setting the filet mignon on the grill

    After preheating the grill, it’s time to set the filet mignon on the grill for that perfect sear and juicy interior. Here’s how to do it:


    1. Place the filet mignon diagonally on the preheated grill grates to achieve those professional – looking diamond grill marks.
    2. Close the lid immediately after placing the steak to lock in the heat and smoky flavor.
    3. Avoid moving or flipping the steak too frequently; allow it to cook undisturbed for a few minutes before checking for grill marks.
    4. Use tongs to carefully flip the filet mignon onto a clean section of the grill grates to create a crosshatch pattern and ensure even cooking.
    5. Close the lid again and continue cooking until the desired doneness is achieved, flipping only once more if necessary.


    How to determine the cooking time for desired doneness

    To determine the cooking time for your desired doneness, I recommend using a meat thermometer. This handy tool allows you to check the internal temperature of your filet mignon while it cooks.

    For a medium-rare steak, aim for an internal temperature of about 130°F (54°C). If you prefer a medium steak, target around 140°F (60°C). Remember to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the filet mignon for an accurate reading.

    When using a meat thermometer isn’t possible, touch can also be an indicator. A rare steak feels soft and squishy when pressed with tongs or fingers. As it cooks to medium-rare, it becomes firmer but still yields under pressure.

    Tips for Grilling Filet Mignon on Charcoal

    Maintaining the right temperature is crucial for grilling filet mignon on charcoal, as well as achieving perfect grill marks and sourcing high-quality charcoal. For more expert tips on grilling the perfect filet mignon, keep reading!

    Maintaining the right temperature

    To maintain the right temperature, I monitor the grill closely, adjusting the vents to regulate airflow and keep a consistent heat. I use a reliable meat thermometer to ensure the filet mignon cooks evenly, aiming for an internal temperature of 130°F for medium-rare perfection.

    Throughout the grilling process, I make small adjustments as needed to maintain this ideal cooking environment.

    Achieving perfect grill marks on my filet mignon is an indication that I have maintained a consistent and optimal grilling temperature throughout the entire process. By using high-quality charcoal and maintaining steady airflow, I create an even cooking environment that ensures perfectly grilled filet mignon every time.

    Achieving perfect grill marks

    To achieve perfect grill marks on filet mignon, start by preheating the charcoal grill to high heat. Once it’s hot, clean the grates and oil them lightly before placing the seasoned filet mignon directly over the coals.

    Let the steak sear for about 2-3 minutes without moving it to create those distinct crosshatch grill marks. Then, rotate the steak 45 degrees to get a crisscross pattern and continue grilling for another few minutes until nicely marked.

    Finally, flip the filet over and repeat this process on the other side until achieving your desired level of doneness.

    Sourcing high-quality charcoal

    I look for charcoal made from natural hardwood, like oak or hickory. These varieties burn hot and clean, enhancing the flavor of the filet mignon without imparting any unwanted chemical flavors.

    I also make sure to choose lump charcoal over briquettes as they provide a more intense heat source and are free from additives or binders.

    Additionally, ensuring that the charcoal is sustainably sourced is important to me. This means looking for brands that use responsible forestry practices and offer certified products.

    grilling filet mignon

    Serving and Enjoying the Perfectly Grilled Filet Mignon

    After the filet mignon is grilled to perfection, it’s important to let it rest before slicing and plating. Serving the steak with your favorite sides and enjoying it with a glass of red wine will complete the experience of savoring a perfectly grilled filet mignon on charcoal.

    Resting the meat

    After grilling, I remove the filet mignon from the heat and allow it to rest. This step is crucial for locking in the juices and ensuring a tender, flavorful steak. During this time, the meat continues to cook slightly as it redistributes its natural juices, resulting in a perfectly juicy and delicious filet mignon.

    As I let the steak rest, I use this time to prepare any accompanying sides or garnishes so that everything is ready for serving once the filet mignon has rested adequately. Once rested, I slice the steak against the grain and plate it before serving immediately to enjoy all its juiciness.

    Next up: – Slicing and plating techniques

    Slicing and plating techniques

    After allowing the filet mignon to rest, the next step is to slice and plate it for serving. Here’s how to achieve perfect slices and a beautiful presentation:


    1. Let the filet mignon rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute, ensuring maximum flavor and tenderness.
    2. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the filet mignon into 1/2 – inch thick slices, ensuring even cuts for consistency in each portion.
    3. Arrange the slices on a platter or individual plates, taking care to fan them out for an elegant presentation.
    4. Garnish with fresh herbs or a drizzle of sauce for added flavor and visual appeal.
    5. Serve immediately while the filet mignon is still warm, allowing your guests to enjoy the perfectly grilled steak at its best.


    Conclusion: Mastering the Perfect Filet Mignon on Charcoal Grill

    Mastering the perfect filet mignon on a charcoal grill requires attention to detail. Preparing the meat and getting the grill ready are crucial steps. Grilling with precision and knowing when it’s done will ensure a delicious steak.

    These tips bring out the best in filet mignon for an unforgettable grilling experience.


    1. What’s the best way to grill filet mignon on charcoal?

    For the perfect grilled filet mignon, use direct heat grilling on a charcoal barbecue and follow a steak grilling temperature guide for medium-rare or your preferred doneness.

    2. Can you give me some charcoal grilling tips to cook filet mignon perfectly?

    Start with a hot grill, season your filet mignon as desired, and sear it over direct heat before moving it to indirect heat grilling if necessary. Monitor the grilled steak temperature closely for best results.

    3. How long should I cook my filet mignon on charcoal?

    The cooking time for filet mignon over charcoal varies depending on thickness and desired doneness; typically, it takes about 4-6 minutes per side for medium-rare.

    4. Is there any difference in cooking time between gas grill temperature and charcoal grilling techniques?

    Yes! Charcoal often creates higher temperatures than gas grills so adjust your timing accordingly when using these different barbecuing methods by referring to reliable recipes or butcher’s tips for filet mignon.

    5. Do you have any pan-seared filet mignon recipes that also involve grilling?

    Certainly! You can start by pan searing your steak briefly then finish cooking on indirect heat from the charcoal grill – this technique adds extra flavor while ensuring even cooking.

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    Kevin Turner
    Hi there, I'm Kevin Turner, Founder and CEO of I started this website to share my passion and knowledge with you. You can leverage my years of experience as a pit master and professional to grill great food!

    About The Grilling Master

    Hi there, I'm Kevin Turner, Founder and CEO of

    My passion has always been grilling, smoking and BBQ delicious meats that satisfy my inner carnivore!

    I started this website to share my passion and knowledge with you, the hungry reader who wants to prepare the perfect meal. 

    You can leverage my years of experience as a pit master and professional. 

    Send me a message and let's connect on Twitter here.

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