Whether you’re new to the sous vide cooking method or a long-time veteran, you can save time and money as well as expand your options when you invest in a quality vacuum sealer.
Like many other people, I took advantage of the 2018 Black Friday deal on the FoodSaver FM2000 Vacuum Sealer System with Starter Bag/Roll Set. That was about three months ago. Since that time, I’ve sealed a variety of leftovers including quite a few items from our Thanksgiving meal, so let’s take a look at how it’s worked out for me so far.
FoodSaver Brand Advantage
The FoodSaver Brand is trusted, and it’s advertised as being the #1 vacuum sealing system on the market. They offer a variety of options when it comes to vacuum sealing food for preservation and sous vide preparation.
During the course of my ownership of the FM2000 model, I’ve noticed the company is highly responsive to customer feedback, and they go the extra mile to ensure they answer questions. I found their FoodSaver Blog to be a great source for food preparation tips and tricks.
General Look at the FoodSaver FM2000
First, let’s get familiar with this product and what it’s capable of. Designed to keep food fresh up to 5x longer, the FoodSaver FM2000 is said to save up to $2,700 in wasted food annually. This was a huge buying factor for me. I like that it’s very straightforward and easy-to-use.
The controls are simple, allowing you to employ common sense rather than hours of time reading long, confusing manuals. There are two primary buttons you need to be familiar with:
- This button is used to make your first seal before placing food items in bags cut from the roll
- This button is used to seal and vacuum out the air for preservation.
Open, Store, and Operate Latch Positions
The FoodSaver FM2000 has a latch on the right-hand side that can be set in three positions. It’s pretty obvious what they mean, but let’s clarify:
- Allows you to open the unit
- Position you should place the latch in when unit is not in use
- Position you should place the latch in when unit is in use
While you do get pre-cut bag options, you can also cut from a roll for increased customization. The cut piece will be open on both ends. This allows you the freedom to create whatever size you may need.
Included in your set are:
- 3 quart-size bags
- 2 gallon-size bags
- 1 11”x10” roll
- 1 accessory hose
Making a Bag from the Roll
Making a custom bag from the roll is pretty easy. Just follow these four steps:
- Pull out enough material to contain your food item and cut.
- Ensure you leave 4-inches at the top of the bag to seal.
- Insert either side of your cut bag into the sealer and press “Seal”.
- Place your food item into the bag, insert the unsealed side, and press “Vac/Seal”.
Sous Vide Advantages and Beyond
I like that the FoodSaver FM2000 allows me to use my sous vide wand from my Firstchop Meal Kit for more than just foods received from the company. The versatility this adds is valuable to me since I am a big fan of leftovers. This can be a huge benefit for large families since you can store everything from meat and vegetables to cookies and more.
Based on storage method, here’s the additional time you can expect using the FoodSaver FM2000:
- Without FoodSaver Seal- 6 months
- With FoodSaver Seal- 2-3 years
- Without FoodSaver Seal- 7-14 days
- With FoodSaver Seal- 4-8 months
- Without FoodSaver Seal- 7-14 days
- With FoodSaver Seal- 21-42 days
Use for Non-Food Items
So, yes, the FoodSaver FM2000 is great for sous vide cooking, but it can also help you preserve other food items to save money. You can even vacuum seal non-food items for storage and safekeeping. Just a few examples of how this can come in handy include:
- Seal items like matches and maps before a camping trip.
- Protect irreplaceable items like pictures and documents from damage in certain natural disasters.
- Create a convenient source of fresh water by sealing ice. When ready for use, just cut a corner for an easy spout.
- Be prepared for an emergency with a waterproof kit including things like batteries, flashlights, candles, food, and water.
What’s the “Accessory Port”?
I haven’t personally used the Accessory Port, but you’ll see it on the left-hand side. It opens up a number of functionalities like the ability to seal jars and containers. You can take a look at all the accessories and parts offered by FoodSaver to get a better idea of the various options they can open up to make your kitchen more efficient.
Tips and Tricks for Common Issues
If your FoodSaver FM2000 isn’t sealing your foods properly, there are a few tips to employ before you take further action:
- Avoid overheating by waiting at least 20 seconds between seals.
- If you suspect it may have overheated, let the machine cool down for at least 20 minutes.
- Ensure you leave around 4-inches at the top of the bag before you seal it.
- Use FoodSaver bags.
- Don’t reuse bags with imperfections.
- Ensure your FoodSaver unit stays clean.
Your FoodSaver does have ways of telling you what’s wrong if you know what to look for. I think this is worth noting because I’ve seen negative reviews regarding issues that are completely solvable. Here are a few symptoms and associated common catalysts:
- Symptom- Red Seal LED is flashing
- Overheating- allow it to sit for 20 minutes
- Latch left in “Operate” position- unlatch and let sit for 20 minutes
- Pump running longer than 2 minutes- let it sit for 20 minutes
- Symptom- Pump is working, but it’s not vacuuming
- Bag from the roll doesn’t have one side already sealed
- Bag isn’t properly placed into the sealer
- Latch was left in “Operate” position during storage and compressed the gasket- place lever in “Store” position for 20 minutes and try again
- Wrinkles in bag
- Lid not latched
- Symptom- Loose or torn gasket
- Dirt and grime- clean with warm water, soap, and rag
- Replacement needed- Call 877-777-8042
- Symptom- Bag won’t seal
- Too much moisture- flash freeze before sealing
- Debris near sealing area- remove and clean gasket
- Bag is wrinkled- stretch it
- Symptom- Bag will not insert
- Not enough material available to reach the drip tray- cut a larger size from your roll to allow 4-inches of extra space
- Symptom- Air is getting back into a sealed bag
- A wrinkle is present along the seal- always stretch bags out before sealing
- Moisture present as is the case in this image- flash freeze before sealing
- Bag was punctured- reseal
- Natural gases were released from food item- throw it away
- Symptom- Bag melts during sealing
- Sealing strip is too hot- allow to cool for 20 seconds
- Wrong bags used- it’s always best to use FoodSaver bags with FoodSaver sealers
My main tip: patience is key. By letting the unit rest for 20 minutes, many problems resolve themselves!
Getting Around the Lack of “Moist” Setting
The FoodSaver FM2000 model doesn’t feature a “Moist” setting. This means it does not seal wet items. However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to preserve things like soups and sauces. Simply flash freeze these types of items before you seal them.
Moisture will compromise the seal and can even cause damage to the FoodSaver. To flash freeze, just place the item in the freezer long enough for the outside of it to solidify.
Special Instructions for Vegetables
If you plan to use your vacuum sealer for vegetable preservation, it’s important to remember that the National Center for Home Food Preservation reports that blanching your vegetables prior to freezing keeps them fresh. This is because the process stops enzymes from causing flavor loss and discoloration. For the best seal for veggies, this is what I did:
- Pre-freeze to protect integrity during the seal
If any of these tips prove ineffective, FoodSaver is very responsive and helpful. They encourage you to communicate with their customer service staff at 1-877-777-8042. You can also reference the Owner’s Manual for quick remedies for common issues.
You can purchase the FoodSaver FM2000 for $99.99. Although there have been some complaints of issues with the product not working properly, I suspect some of these were due to improper use. If you see these kinds of comments, cross-reference them with our “Tips and Tricks for Common Issues” section above.
In my experience, I found the price to be a great value considering the money I’ve already saved in just three months.
Maintenance, Protection, Care, & Warranty
It’s important for durability and hygienic purpose to keep your FoodSaver clean. Some suggestions from the company for proper maintenance include:
- Don’t immerse in liquid.
- Ensure gaskets around drip tray are free from food materials.
- Clean gaskets when necessary with warm, soapy water and a rag (upper and lower gaskets are removable).
- Empty drip tray after every use and clean (dishwasher safe).
- To avoid compressing gaskets, never store lid in “Operate” position.
The FoodSaver FM2000 is backed by a 5-year warranty
- Dimensions: H: 4.0″ W 16.3″ x 9.2″ D
- Weight: 6lbs.
- Cord Length: 24″
- Watts: 120W
Double Seal for Extra Protection
It’s not uncommon for the bag to become compromised, and this happened in one instance in my experience due to an ineffective seal. To prevent this from happening again, I started sealing my bags twice for added protection. It only takes a few seconds.
Reviews and Feedback
While I’ve had a very positive experience with my FoodSaver FM2000, I’m just one customer out of many. I took a moment to see what other customers have had to say to provide you a well-rounded idea of what you can expect:
- Saves money and time
- Keeps seasonal foods fresh
- Very easy to use
- Multiple accessory options make it easy to customize functionality
- Rolls of material allow you to create custom-size bags
- Accessory port allows you to seal canisters and marinate food
- Drip tray is dishwasher-safe
- Trusted brand
- No moist setting
- Some complaints of the product not removing all the air
- Not as durable as some of the more expensive options (but you get what you pay for!)
Food Freshness: 8.8/10
Ease of Use: 8.4/10
I really appreciate the fact that the FoodSaver FM2000 allows me to bring new life to my leftovers. My kids don’t like to eat the same thing two days in a row, and I don’t like to throw things out. The result… rotten food in my fridge that stinks it up and wastes time and money.
Although there were some negative reviews I found online, I didn’t personally experience any of these issues, and they don’t seem to be the norm since the portion of ratings less than 4 out of 5 stars was just 21%. Considering the low cost, potential annual savings, and vast array of creative uses, I think this item offers excellent value.