Sirloin vs Filet: What’s the Difference?


There are few cuts more popular than the tenderloin and the ribeye when it comes to beef, but one of these steaks has much more flavor than the other. Which steak tastes better? Sirloin or filet?

Sirloin and filet are two types of beef commonly served at steakhouses and upscale restaurants. In terms of texture, sirloin and filet are similar. However, some essential differences make one better than the other in certain situations.

This article provides information on sirloin vs. filet to decide which one best fits your needs.

What is Sirloin?

Sirloin is a steak cut from beneath a cow’s ribs, right between their short loin and round. Sirloin is an inclusive term covering several cuts taken from different parts of a cow’s rear end of the loin primal. But what does it mean for you?

Sirloin is just saying steak from under the loin, but there are different grades of sirloins and cuts from them depending on where along its length it comes from.

There are four different types of sirloin:

  • Top sirloin (also known as tri-tip)
  • Bottom sirloin (also known as flap meat)
  • Tenderloin
  • Ideal sirloin

Sirloin is also referred to as top sirloin in some recipes, with New York strip being another name used for meat from the same part of a cow. The taste and quality of sirloin vary depending on what part of a cow it comes from and how it was prepared after slaughtering, and butchery procedures were completed.

Of all these cuts, the most tender and juicy one is the ideal sirloin and top sirloin. They are more expensive than other types of sirloins because they are less tough and have a better flavor. For example, ideal sirloin has a fine texture with lots of meat fibers, making it great for steak lovers who prefer its meat as soft but chewable.

Sirloin is best cooked at high temperatures to remain tender and juicy. However, be sure not to overcook, as doing so may toughen your meat up. For instance, ideal sirloin should be eaten when medium-rare or medium in temperature because if you cook it beyond these levels, you will end up with a tough piece of meat that’s hard to chew through. 

On top of all these benefits, sirloin has relatively low-fat content, making it great for people who are on a diet or want to lose weight. This is probably because it’s derived from an area that receives massive exercise. Thus, it lacks the potential to store fat. 

What is Filet?

Filet is a cut of meat from tenderloin that lies beneath ribs 6 through 12 of beef cattle between the rib eye and tenderloin. Filets can also be found on game animals such as deer, elk, and moose. However, they are more commonly associated with large livestock breeds such as Hereford and Angus cattle, which are bred specifically for their tender meat.

Of all steaks, the filet is perhaps the most tender and delicate and can be cooked in various ways to bring out its unique flavor. Because it’s so lean, it’s best to cook filet on low heat for a short amount of time; otherwise, you risk overcooking it and losing its tenderness.

In terms of flavor, the filet is less robust than other cuts of meat, so it’s best to pair it with a rich sauce or a flavorful side dish such as garlic mashed potatoes or broccoli rabe sauteed in olive oil and garlic. 

It’s also worth noting that unlike some cuts of meat that are suitable for grilling, filet should not be cooked over an open flame; high heat will dry out its delicate texture and rob it of its little flavor.

Difference Between Sirloin and Filet

Those who love red meat understand why steak lovers would opt for sirloin over the filet. After all, don’t they want a slice of top-quality beef on their plate? Well, that depends on what top-quality means to you and whether or not you are willing to pay for it.

Let’s take a closer look at both cuts and see if we can come up with an answer together.

Fat Content

While both cuts have low-fat content, sirloin is slightly higher in fats than filet mignon. Sirloin contains about 5 grams of fat per 100 grams of meat, while filet has 4.6 grams of fat per 100 grams. However, that doesn’t mean you should automatically choose filet over sirloin.

That is because it’s a better ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fats – which are healthier for your heart and body overall.

Nutritional Profile

Both have very similar nutritional profiles in terms of nutrition, meaning they’re low in fat, calories, and cholesterol but high in protein. One 3-ounce serving of sirloin contains about 200 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 60 milligrams of cholesterol.

Meanwhile, one 3-ounce serving of filet has about 240 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 65 milligrams of cholesterol. Both cuts are also a good source of iron, with 100 percent of your daily recommended intake being met by just three ounces of either steak.

However, while sirloin is an excellent source of zinc (which helps keep your immune system healthy), it doesn’t contain any vitamin B12, which can be found in abundance in the beef tenderloin.


Compared to filet, sirloin is firmer and tougher in texture. It tends to be chewier and requires more chewing power than a leaner cut of meat like filet mignon would have. If you are the type that wants easy chewing, then filet might be better for you! 


Both cuts are tender and flavorful, but if we’re talking about which one has better flavor overall – it’s definitely sirloin. Sirloin tends to have a slightly stronger flavor profile than filet, so many people prefer it over its leaner counterpart.

While that might not sound appealing at first, once you’ve tried both cuts for yourself, you may enjoy sirloin’s robust taste. Both cuts are easy to prepare – whether you want them cooked medium-rare or medium-well.

Cooking Time and Temperature

Sirloin steak should be cooked over medium-high heat (about 300 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 5 minutes on each side. For the filet, preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and bake your meat for 6 to 8 minutes or until you reach an internal temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit. 


Filet mignon is usually more expensive than sirloin – but not always. If you are shopping at a high-end butcher shop, then it’s possible that sirloin could cost just as much as a filet. However, if you’re looking for it in a regular grocery store, then there’s a good chance that it will be cheaper than a filet.

Sirloin vs Filet: Which is Better?

Sirloin or filet? Well, it depends on your tastes. And wallet size…and, well, pretty much everything else. But that’s not what we’re here to tell you—we’re here to answer one question: which steak is better for you?

The two cuts are similar in flavor and tenderness (though filet tends to be a bit more tender), but sirloin has more protein than filet. If you’re the cautious type, go with filet; if you like a little extra protein in your diet, then go with sirloin. Both cuts will taste great, depending on how they’re prepared.

Generally, sirloin and filet are more about personal preference than health benefits. Both cuts are high in protein low in fat and can be prepared in various ways to create a delicious meal for you and your family or friends.

But just in case you’re looking to save some money on your next steak dinner, try ordering sirloin instead of filet mignon—you might like it better.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Pick a Good Sirloin Steak?

A sirloin steak is a cut from under the loin and usually has some marbling, making it ideal for grilling or frying at high temperatures because of its density and fat content. When buying sirloin steaks, make sure you get one 1 inch thick to allow for even cooking times and better flavor.

You can also ask your butcher to cut it into pieces that fit your specifications if you need something different than their pre-cut steaks. Most butchers will be happy to oblige.

How Much Does a Top Sirloin Steak Cost?

The price will vary depending on where you live, but it’s hard to find a top sirloin that costs more than $15 per pound in most areas of the United States. The average price in most places will be $8-$11.

Of course, when buying it at your local grocery store or butcher shop, you have to account for any markup they may add to that figure, so your cost may be a little higher at first. But if you’re looking for a good value, buy in bulk and then freeze what you don’t need right away.

Most sirloin steaks will keep in an airtight container in your freezer for up to 3 months without losing much flavor or quality. 

Which Steak Is Most Tender?

Filet mignon is the most tender steak you can buy, but it’s also more expensive than other cuts of beef and not quite as versatile in cooking methods. If you like your steak super tender, then go for a filet mignon, but if you’re looking for something that’s still pretty good to eat even when cooked past medium-rare, then sirloin is your best bet. 

Which is Healthier Filet Mignon or New York Strip?

New York Strip is another of our favorite steaks, and while it’s not quite as tender as a filet mignon, it still has good marbling to keep it moist and flavorful when cooked.

The healthier choice between filet mignon and New York Strip is probably the latter because it’s got more fat than filet mignon, but that also means that you should take care not to overcook it, or you may end up with something dry and flavorless on your plate. 

Is A Filet Mignon Healthy?

Ultimately yes! Filet mignon is perfect for you, especially when you buy it fresh from a butcher or local grocer and prepare them at home.

Just make sure you’re buying a good one because some awful quality ones out there have been frozen for months or longer before getting shipped to local stores and butchers for sale. However, if you know where your meat is coming from, it will probably be quite good for you.

What Should I Season My Filet Mignon With?

People often get confused because there are so many different ways to prepare filet mignon, but there’s only one honest answer when it comes to what to season it with: salt and pepper. That’s it.

You don’t need a fancy marinade or to use sauces or butter or anything else to make your steak taste great, just salt and pepper on both sides before you cook it.


Sirloin and filet are both delicious cuts of beef; you’ll find it hard to go wrong with either one. However, sirloin is a better bang for your buck in terms of value. If cost is a concern and you need to save some money, go with sirloin—it has a similar flavor and texture to filet while also being cheaper per pound.

If money is no object or you’re looking for something special, then opt for filet. A nice little steak dinner at home beats out whatever else can be found at a restaurant any day. Ask a butcher for your specific sirloin and filet questions, including how much each should cost per pound!

Bobby Johnson

When he's not writing about barbecue, you can find Bobby smoking meat for friends and family. He's been a backyard pitmaster for roughly half his life, and has worked with nearly every cut of meat. Not everyone has a hands-on guide to teach them BBQ, but that's what Bobby hopes to do with Electric Smoker HQ. He wants to help people create amazing food that they can be proud of.