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Hibachi Steak vs Filet Mignon: How to Decide

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Are you stuck between two delicious steak options? Can’t decide if you should go for the hibachi steak or the filet mignon?

Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, I’ll compare hibachi steak and filet mignon so you can make an informed decision. 

Hibachi Steak vs Filet Mignon- How to Decide

Hibachi steak is a type of Japanese steak cooked on a hibachi grill at high heat, while filet mignon is a beef cut from the tenderloin area cooked at lower heat. While both are super delicious in their own right, filet mignon is a little expensive. 

Following is a relatively deep comparison between both:

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What is hibachi steak?

Hibachi steak is a type of Japanese steak that is cooked on a hibachi grill. It is typically made from high-quality cuts of beef, such as sirloin or ribeye.

It is usually marinated in soy sauce and seasoned with a variety of spices before being put on a grill.  

The steak is cooked over a hot charcoal fire, which gives it a unique flavor and texture.

It is served with rice and a variety of vegetables, such as mushrooms, onions, and peppers, as well as a (usually yellow) dipping sauce.

Hibachi steak is known for its tenderness and flavor. The high heat cooking helps seal the juices and create a juicy, flavorful steak.

Although traditionally simple, it can also be topped with any favorite seasonings to create extra flavors. 

The steak can also be served with various sauces, such as teriyaki or soy sauce. Wasabi and ponzu are also some popular combinations you can try at home. 

Hibachi steak has everything to become your next weekend’s favorite! 

What is filet mignon?

Filet mignon is a steak cut from a beef tenderloin.

It’s one of the most tender cuts of beef and is usually served as an entree. 

It’s usually cut into medallions and is known for its buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture. It’s also one of the most expensive cuts of steak due to its tenderness and flavor.

Filet mignon is usually cooked quickly over high heat, grilled, pan-fried, or broiled. It’s important to not overcook it, as it can become tough and dry. 

The steak is usually served with a sauce, such as a béarnaise or a red wine reduction, to enhance its flavor. But it tastes quite awesome on its own too! 

Filet mignon is popular for special occasions, such as anniversaries and birthdays.

Moreover, it also works well to impress dinner guests, as it’s a dish that looks and tastes impressive.

While it’s expensive in its own right, Filet mignon won’t break the bank while still providing you with an ultra-luxurious experience.

Hibachi steak vs. filet mignon: the ultimate showdown

Well, hibachi steak and filet mignon are both succulent steaks equally loved by meat lovers.

However, that’s the only similarity between them, as they keep deviating from each other as we compare them. 

If you like terse answers, the above description might just be enough.

But if you’re here to know so much that you can differentiate between them without tasting them, keep reading. Things are about to get sizzled up!

Following is a point-to-point comparison between hibachi steak and filet mignon: 

Cut of meat

Hibachi steak is typically a sirloin cut of steak.

The sirloin cut is leaner, flavorsome, and juicy. It serves as a great choice for many other steak recipes, including stews. 

It is similar to other premium cuts like ribeye steak, except that it is leaner and healthier.

The best thing is it comes at the most decent cost in the expensive cuts league while still feeling premium on the taste buds. 

On the other hand, filet mignon is obtained from the tenderloin area of the cow and is one of the most pricey steaks.

The reason is simple, it represents only 1-2% of the total meat in the cow.

The muscle it is obtained from is seldom used, resulting in the juiciest and most tender meat you will ever taste. 

It is rare compared to sirloin and, therefore, more pricey..  

Preparation method

Hibachi steak is usually cooked on a hot grill and open flame. You might ask why I didn’t mention griddle instead? 

Well, in Japan, cooking on a flat top griddle is called teppanyaki style, a different “traditional Japanese” cooking method popularized in America as “hibachi.” 

Hibachi is the Japanese version of charcoal grilling, and hibachi steak is prepared on an extremely hot grill with grates.

The meat is often flavored with soy sauce-based marinade (like in this recipe here) and some seasoning before it is put on the grill for searing.   

Alongside the meat, some vegetables (most commonly zucchini, onions, and mushrooms) are also grilled, and later served with rice.

The steak is usually cut into bitesize cubes to make it easy and enjoyable to eat. 

When you visit a teppanyaki restaurant, which is quite popular in the US especially, you will often see the hibachi steak cooked on a griddle, flavored with different spices and sauces before it’s served. 

While this does not count as traditional hibachi steak per se, it does add some interesting flavors to the dish.

Plus, you can always make it at home in a simple pan if you don’t have a hibachi grill.

Want to make real hibachi steak at home? I like a nice portable Japanese tabletop grill

On the other hand, filet mignon, although a fancy cut in itself, has little fancy going on when it comes to preparation.

It is as simple to make as any other steak. 

All you need to do is just season it with any of your preferred seasonings (salt and pepper preferably), place it on a super hot cast iron skillet with some olive oil, and sear it until it develops a beautiful crust. 

Afterward, heat it in the oven to obtain the desired rarity, and then serve!

Just so you know, the ideal temperature for medium rare steak is 130-135°, medium steak is 135-140°, and medium well is 145-155°

Taste

Hibachi steak develops quite a complex and intense flavor during marination, which is even intensified by all that smokiness coming from the hibachi grill. 

Especially when you use charcoal (preferably binchotan!) to fire up your hibachi grill.

Almost all hibachi restaurants (especially the teppanyaki ones) use different seasonings, sauces, and marinades for their steaks, so the overall flavor profile can differ from place to place. 

The only thing you will find familiar among all, though, is the creamy butteriness of the steak, which is specific to tenderloin cuts. 

To cut it short, when eating a hibachi steak, you know it will be intense.

Still, you never know what will be the overall flavor profile, which, in my opinion, makes it much more fun! 

On the other hand, filet mignon tastes just what you would expect from a tender, melt-in-your-mouth cut of meat- buttery, mild, and, well, juicy. 

It is all about experiencing the natural taste of meat rather than tainting it with intense spices. It’s for people who like it simple, that’s how I would put it. 

Serving

You will never find hibachi steak served on its own. It always needs something to complement and mild down its intense flavor. 

Hence, it is served with fried rice and vegetables, often sided with hibachi yellow sauce (that you can make yourself easily!) to give it more complexity and uniqueness. 

Filet mignon is served just like a classic steak- alone or with some herb sauce or horseradish to complement its flavor. 

In some places, it’s often sided with additional butter to accentuate its natural flavors.

It really doesn’t need anything else to give it more flavor, except if you personally like a little sauce on the top. 

Price

Hibachi steak is usually cheaper than filet mignon due to the cut of meat and the cooking method.

The sirloin cut of steak is generally cheaper than the tenderloin. 

Plus, if you reside in the US, you are more likely going to eat the teppanyaki style steak, which is cooked in a more affordable way compared to grilling. 

Or even if you prepare authentic hibachi steak on a grill, it still will hardly cost as much! 

Conclusion

Overall, it’s clear that hibachi steak and filet mignon are both delicious and have their own unique qualities.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and budget. 

Hibachi steak is the way to go if you’re looking for a more affordable option.

If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, filet mignon is the better choice.

Whichever you choose, you will be satisfied!

Want some cooking inspiration? Here are the 4 Ultimate Teppanyaki Steak Recipes You Wish You Knew Sooner

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.