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Filet of Beef (buying a better beef tenderloin)

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I rarely buy beef tenderloin in supermarkets. I find it a dull steak, tender yes, but lacking beef flavor. This is usually because most supermarket tenderloin I see cut into steaks in their fresh meat case has almost no marbling. It is either not graded or is USDA Select grade, the grade below Choice. Even many middle of the road steak houses who serve Choice grade NY Strips or Rib Eyes buy a lesser grade tenderloin because they all are tender and that’s what your typical filet eater is looking for. If you want a better filet, buy a Choice grade Porterhouse and you’ll get a better fillet. Instead of two steaks I buy a large Porterhouse and give the filet part to my wife & eat the strip side myself.

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  1. Ya I don't get why anyone would spend that much money for a piece of meat with no flavour and no texture.
    IMO strip loin is the best choice for steak. Rib eye second.
    You haven't lived until you've eaten an aged caribou strip loin or rib eye..

    1. All the meat pros I ever met tell me that for tenderloin/PSMO, grading doesn't matter one bit. Select is the standard, especially for retail.

      I don't use that cut enough to be an expert, I go for T bone and Porterhouse where you can see the marbling; but yes sometimes I luck upon a filet that is better than usual. No rhyme or reason that I can say.

      2 Replies
      1. re: coll

        All the meat pros I ever met tell me that for tenderloin/PSMO, grading doesn't matter one bit. Select is the standard, especially for retail.

        That's the conventional wisdom but it's untrue. Eat a Select grade next to a Choice of Prime grade & you'll see the difference. All are tender but the better two grades have more flavor.

        1. re: zackly

          Wish I had the wherewithal ;-) The days of $2.99 filet is gone forever, I fear.

      2. I don't often eat steak and almost never eat fillet, because of it's lack of taste. I find that the period of aging the carcass is the most significant feature and I look to buy at least 28 day aged and, preferably, 35 days. I'd always prefer to buy hanger/onglet/bavette - much tastier than the more expensive cuts

        I also rarely buy meat at the supermarket, preferring the farmers market or, indeed, buying direct from the farm over the internet.