By using a vacuum sealer such as the FoodSaver V3240 you can greatly prolong the life of foods stored in your freezer and keep them free of freezer burn. Foods kept in the refrigerator also keep better when vacuum sealed due to the absence of oxygen and airborne contaminants.
If you are looking to save money and increase the shelf life of foods or store some of your excess then a vacuum sealer is the right kitchen appliance for you.
A vacuum sealer is also great for Hunters to preserve game and other meats at the end of a trip. Preppers and bulk buyers will also find a sealer very helpful especially if it has an accessory hose so that it can be used for sealing jars and canisters as this model has.
The V3240 is an external vacuum sealer suitable for home use. The unit is designed to stand vertically on your counter top and takes up a much smaller space than similar models. It comes in a fresh white finish.
The unit can be used for vacuum sealing pre-purchased bags and can also be used to create bags from the rolls supplied by FoodSaver.
This model is also supplied with an accessory hose that can be used to vacuum seal FoodSaver Containers and Canisters and can also be used to reseal non-carbonated drinks after opening.
Meats can be marinated quickly by either purchasing the additional marinator attachment or by sealing your meat inside a vacuum bag together with your marinade of choice. Note that its best to immerse the meat in the marinade and before vacuum sealing place it in the freezer so that the marinade solidifies first as you will get a better seal this way with less chance of leakage.
Packets of chips can also be resealed by using the heat seal only function of the unit by operating the seal only control. Other thin Mylar type bags can also be sealed successfully.
The Control Panel on the V3240 has a range of touch operated buttons that can easily be wiped clean with a soft cloth
The unit has 2 speed settings, “Normal” and “Gentle”. The unit is set to “Normal” by default. The Gentle setting should be selected so that fragile foods can be vacuum sealed with less risk of crushing.
This model can also be used in seal mode only, where it is used just to heat seal a bag without using the vacuum. This is ideal to use for resealing chip packets to help keep them fresher for longer.
Dry and Moist control settings are also available. The unit is set to “Dry” by default which means that the heat is set to be on for the minimum time required for making a seal. If you select “Moist” then the unit will apply heat to the seal for longer.
Several people who owned the unit said they only use it set on “Moist” as the seal formed using this setting appeared to be more reliable.
The sealing bar is around 12” long meaning that you can’t seal a bag any larger than this and should probably not go any larger than 11” on Roll or bag width as you will begin to experience bag seal failures.
To seal a bag you simply:
- Fill the bag with food or items you wish to store inside
- Place the bag into the open end of the machine taking care to keep it flat and free of wrinkles
- Close and lock down the lock bar
- Press the vacuum and seal control panel button – and your done!
In common with most units of this size if you are sealing several bags then you would be wise to wait 20 seconds or so between seals so that you do not cause the unit to overheat.
It is also a good idea every 5 bags or so to let the unit cool down for a few minutes. This will help prolong the life of the unit and hopefully by using it carefully it will keep operating for several years.
This model comes with a bag cutter built in. If you lift up the top of the unit there is another bar that is lifted where you pull the bag roll through. Once you have made the bag the size that you need you can use the slider blade to cut it across with the slider blade. Your bag roll(s) can be stored adjacent to the cutter if you so wish.
The unit also has a built-in drip tray which serves to collect small amounts of moisture and liquids that might be squeezed from food during the sealing process. This tray is easy to lift out of the unit after use and can be cleaned by washing in warm soapy water. You can also put it in your dishwasher! Make sure that it is completely dry though before replacing in the machine.
Bags and Rolls
This particular FoodSaver machine comes supplied with several different items as standard as listed below:
- 10 foot roll of 11 inch wide tube for making your own bags
- 3 x Quart sized Heat-Seal Bags
- 2 x Gallon sized Heat-Seal Bags
- 1 x accessory hose that can be used to vacuum seal containers and jars
The manufacturer recommends that you only use its FoodSaver range of bags and rolls but many purchasers have found that bulk-buy vacuum sealer bags and rolls seem to work OK when used carefully.
Bag sizes that can be used include the popular 8” and 11” sizes due to the extra wide sealing bar.
The 8” and 11” wide rolls can also be used.
A handy storage compartment is contained within the unit that is large enough to take a roll and a number of spare bags.
Rolls up to 20 ft long can be stored inside the machine. Please note that the 50 Foot bulk rolls that are available from some manufacturers are too large to fit inside the machine so you will have to trim them to fit.
The unit is configured to run on 120 Volts and comes complete with a fitted 3-pin polarized plug where one blade is wider than the other. This prevents any risk of inserting the plug in the socket the wrong way around.
The lead fitted to the unit is also quite short, as similar to a kettle, it’s not a good thing to have a trailing lead to a piece of equipment that can get hot in use hanging off a worktop where a child could get hold of it and injure themselves.
The unit is designed to be used in an upright position and therefore the space that the unit takes up on your counter top will be smaller than many other vacuum sealers. The size is 16.5 wide x 8” depth x 9” high.
Place of Manufacture
This appliance, as with many electrical appliances nowadays, is manufactured overseas in China.
A 1 year limited warranty is given with this unit. This covers most faults that could develop with the machine provided it is being used by following the instructions contained in the user manual.
Maintenance and Repairs
FoodSaver give good customer service as evidenced by several reviewers who have had their machine repaired by sending it back. If the machine damage is not covered by the warranty then there will be parts and labor charges to be agreed before sending the unit off for repair.
There are more add-ons that you can purchase to make the machine even more versatile thanks to the accessory hose port on the unit and these include:
FoodSaver Canister Sets
These come in several different sizes and can be used to store larger quantities of dried foods and other items.
FoodSaver Quick Marinator
This can be used for easily marinating foods so that you can improve the taste and texture of meats and other food items.
FoodSaver Bottle Stopper
Used for resealing non-fizzy drink bottles such as wine and juices to keep them fresh for longer.
Can be used to vacuum seal standard size Ball® and Kerr® Mason jars and other same sized types of jar. The jar sealer attachment works with several other manufacturers jars as well which means that you can probably use any jars that you already have stored in your cupboards at home.
Wide-Mouth Jar Sealer
Can be used to seal Ball® and Kerr® Mason jars and other same sized wide-mouthed jars.
Deli Containers for storing meats and cheeses
- Very simple to use
- This unit takes up much less counter space than similar sealers due to it standing horizontally. Because of its small footprint it’s also a lot easier to find room for it to be stored beneath your counter top. So, if space is an issue, this unit should definitely be on your shortlist
- You can select the sealing time with the “Moist”/”Dry” setting buttons giving you greater control over how much heat is applied so you can get the best seal
- The accessory hose makes it possible for you to use a large number of add-ons to seal canisters and jars making the machine even more versatile
- Some reviewers stated that the unit was not very reliable, but this was certainly not the view of the majority of purchasers
- The vacuum mechanism is a bit noisy when evacuating the bags but the noise that comes from the machine is comparable with several other manufacturers models
The ratings typically given to this machine by purchasers fall between 4.0 to 4.5 out of 5 which is better that many other comparable models of vacuum sealer in this price band.(4.3 / 5)
This mid-range FoodSaver model typically retails at around $150 online although Amazon usually have it on offer at a very generous discount.
The running costs on this unit compare favorably with similar units made by other manufacturers. The FoodSaver bags though are a little more expensive than the bulk buy bags and rolls that can be purchased online.
The FoodSaver 3240 is suitable for a household wanting to vacuum seal medium quantities of food. This model is particularly suited for a smaller kitchen where the smaller footprint of the unit means that it requires much less space to store and operate in.
If you have large quantities of food such as game and large quantities of fish to vacuum seal then a more robust and expensive machine should be bought such as the FoodSaver GameSaver or perhaps the Weston Pro 2300.
The V3240 has continued to be offered by FoodSaver for several years and so I think this gives us a clue to the reliability of the model over the long term despite some rather varied reviews.
We consider the 3240 to be pretty good value for money and would easily suit small to medium sized families needs perfectly. The machine is particularly good value if you can get it at a large discount.