With both a Sam’s Club and Costco membership, we tend to buy most everything in bulk, especially meats, seafood and vegetables. We’ve been using vacuum sealer since the early 90’s and today, we’re reviewing the FoodSaver 2-in-1 Food Preservation System (model FM5000). We’ll review both PROs and CONs of the machine.
FoodSaver 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealer Review
It’s a countertop machine
This mama is BIG. As big as my ink jet printer.
PRO: Sturdy machine. Back has power cord wrap storage, which is awesome. I don’t like dangling cords. It’s big because the machine also makes and stores a roll of bag material. (More on this later)
CON: It sure takes up a lot of valuable space on my counter. We actually store it in our pantry and bring it out when when need it. It’s pretty heavy, requiring both hands to lift.
Easily creates bags!
Make an initial seal (basically turn the lever). Then roll out the desired bag size, and slide the cutter. Seal again, so that your next bag is all ready to go.
PRO: No more looking for the roll of material – the roll easily stores in the machine. You can measure, seal and cut your bags right there on the machine as well. It’s so convenient.
CON: The bag roll storage area is open, which means the roll easily falls out when you pick up and move the machine. It’s no big deal if you keep the machine on the counter.
Our Avocado Challenge
We took on the challenge of freezing avocados. It’s something that I have never been able to freeze well, because the avocado is soft and delicate. Vacuum sealing sucks all of the air out of the bag, but also squishes the fragile avocado.
We sealed one half of the avocado in the FoodSaver FM5000 machine.
PRO: The machine has a “PulseVac” setting, that allows you to vacuum seal delicate foods – even fluffy muffins – so that you don’t accidentally suck the life out of them and end up with a gummy bear.
I PulseVac’d the avocado, just sucking enough air out, trying hard not to squish it too much. As you can see below (on the right), the slices stayed intact, even if a little bit of avocado juice spread out.
And placed the other half in a standard bag. Both froze for exactly 1 month.
One month later…
The avocado was still bright green, the slices are still distinct.
Let’s open the bag (btw, the avocado is still frozen)
Want to see the other bag?
Freezer burn, dark spots., dull color.
PRO: Yes to the PulseVac! The machine also has MOIST and DRY settings. Sometimes I like to make a big batch of marinara sauce and freeze. The MOIST setting allows the machine to stop just in time so that you don’t gunk up the machine with red sauce.
The FoodSaver FM5000 2 in 1 Vacuum Sealer also has a built-in handheld sealing thingy. You can buy plastic containers for marinating or storage, as well as special bags designed for refrigerator storage.
PRO: I vacuum sealed a yellow bell pepper and placed it in the crisper drawer. I actually had forgotten about it, and….6 weeks later….as I’m writing this review, I remembered, “THE BELL PEPPER!!!”
Just took these photos:
No mold. The stem has darkened a little bit, the bell pepper is a little soft, but it’s still bright yellow, still edible! I’m going to chop it up and throw it in a pasta sauce.
CON: Too many slots, buttons, levers, openings and hinges. It gets confusing remembering what goes where, and what button to push first.
PRO: There’s a removable drip tray! Yay, easy clean!
PRO: You don’t have to let go of the bag to activate the vacuum sealer. Just use your knuckles to push the bar. (See below in the video).
PRO: If you reaaaaally wanted to…you could vacuum seal a whole turkey with their expandable bags. (This is FoodSaver’s photo…not mine!)
CON: It’s pricey…FoodSaver sells the system (machine, bags, rolls, etc) for $199.
Amazon has it for $175, but check your local Sam’s Club or Costco to see if they have a better package deal.
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The bags below are not made by FoodSaver, but I have been using them for years. They are much cheaper!