UGLI & Sunfocus Hybrid Solar-Electric Ovens Review

ugli hybrid solar oven The SunFocus and the UGLI hybrid solar ovens are truly an oven design of a different breed, which is exactly why I wanted to include them in my testing. The big differentiator between these ovens and the others I tested, is that these are hybrid solar electric ovens.

They’re used as solar ovens, but they can be plugged in if the clouds roll in or for cooking after the sun has set. As anyone who’s cooked with solar knows, this aspect is a nice feature. With other solar ovens, there were several times when I had to fire up the grill to finish off meats that didn’t get enough cook time.

To simplify this review, understand these are essentially the same oven, but in different housings. The UGLI Oven (pronounced ug-lee) is essentially a budget version of the SunFocus. The SunFocus had the best case of all the ovens I tested. So, between the two of them I’d spring for the nicer housing of the SunFocus. This hybrid solar oven is built well and would hold up even if it was left out in the rain.

Price: $299-$549

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UGLI and Sunfocus Hybrid Solar-Electric Oven Specs

Brand Price Size Capacity Stored Size Carrying Case
Ugli Hybrid $389 22x22x12
lid closed
Large 22x22x12 Integrated
Sunfocus $599 22x22x12
lid closed
Large 22x22x12 Integrated
Ease of Use Durability Heat Potential Cooking Speed Packaging Portability Accessories
Ugli Hybrid None
Sunfocus None

Who is this solar oven for?

Hybrid solar ovens are squarely aimed at someone who lives off the grid and likes to cook and bake a lot. I started getting into solar ovens because I didn’t have an oven in my tiny house, but I wanted to roast a chicken, bake potatoes, and enjoy other dishes. Due to the built-in heating element, I feel like this is the most practical oven for off-grid folks. With the other solar ovens, there were times when I bought a roast or chicken and then faced a week of clouds. This meant scrambling to cook the meat before it went bad. With a hybrid solar oven, there are no worries about bad weather.

How this solar oven cooked:

I don’t know if it’s fair to compare these hybrid solar ovens to the regular solar ovens, because of the heating unit. In some ways, it’s comparing apples to oranges, but here it goes: solar cooking performed around the middle of the pack. The heating element was unlike any of the solar ovens, so obviously, the hybrid ovens performed well in that regard. You can also cook indoors with hybrid solar ovens, which is a huge benefit. You can even cook at night!

What I liked about the hybrid solar ovens:

I loved the fact I could cook at night or in bad weather for less than 500 watts. As someone who relies on solar power, this benefit is huge!

What I didn’t like about the hybrid solar ovens:

While it’s clear why these ovens are expensive, one can’t ignore the price tag. Even though I feel the fit and finish on the SunFocus is very good quality, on my budget, I’d need to think seriously before spending over $500 for a hybrid oven. That said, if you compare the power needs to those of a normal oven, factoring in the limitations of being off-grid, this is a purchase worth considering.

UGLI and Sunfocus Hybrid Solar Oven Photos

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My Interview with the UGLI and SunFocus Hybrid Solar Ovens Manufacturer

Can you give a quick rundown of your company and who you are?

The Sun BD Corporation’s SunFocus and UGLI hybrid ovens are the two best hybrid solar electric ovens in America. The Sun BD Corporation since 2004 has tried to modernize solar cooking and offer true solar cooking innovation to the marketplace. The Sun BD Corporation has been an industry leader in changing long-established norms about solar cooking in America. David Chalker, Founder and President of the Sun BD Corporation has been a solar cook for over 35 years.

What is the background or story of the design of this solar oven?

The SunFocus hybrid solar electric oven was designed for the American market with its large size cooking capacity (up to 12 lbs. per cooking cycle). As a combination high-performance solar oven and an energy efficient electric oven, the SunFocus hybrid is a modern environmentally “fuel free” approach to outdoor cooking all the while elevating the user’s level of convenience and cooking reliability.

The UGLI hybrid solar electric oven was designed to be our “economy” hybrid. The UGLI hybrid has all the same great features and cooking performance as the SunFocus but a 1/3 less of the price.

Who is the oven for and who isn’t it for?

Both the SunFocus and the UGLI hybrid solar electric ovens were designed for multiple purposes and uses: in your backyard, campsite, RV, houseboat. Both ovens are designed to be used use with-the-grid or off-the-grid and are designed to be used for cooking either indoors or outdoors.

Both ovens are designed to be either a stand-alone solar oven or electric oven or combination of both while operating.

When people have trouble cooking in your oven, what advice do you offer most often?

Our hybrid ovens are relatively trouble-free. From the moment of purchase, we let our customer know that we stand behind our product 100% and any issue that they may ever encounter all they need to do is contact us.

What’s your favorite recipe or dish to cook in your oven?

I don’t have a single recipe. I just like to load up the solar hybrid oven with whole dinner’s meal at one time. I’ll cook large herbal seasoned whole chicken at the same time I’ll have 4 sweet potatoes and dish rice cooking in the oven. Later on, I’ll include a vegetable to be steamed prior to everything else being done. It’s cooking simplicity to the tenth degree.

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