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Customer of the Month: Phil Williams

One of the best ways to entertain your family and friends is to embrace the traditional-style cooking that we all enjoyed back in the day! Our Authentic Pizza Ovens are incredibly mesmerizing with their fire that gives off an ambiance unlike any other and creates an atmosphere in which everyone slows down from the rush of life and engages in conversations and relishes in building everlasting memories!

Meet Phil Williams from Escondido, CA, and read about his venture to find the perfect wood-fired pizza oven he has always dreamed of having.

Read more from our interview with Phil and how his Pizzaioli Premium Oven has brought back memories from working in a pizzeria and united his family and friends around the table with his delicious Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza!

Where are you from and a little background information about you?

Hello, I am Phil! We live in the suburbs of Escondido CA, San Diego County. We have a homestead with 22 hens, 2 mini-schnauzers, and two barn cats who roam the property freely as if they own it. I am a businessman but I love to cook! My church, my friends, and my family know me for what they think is a great cook. So when I decided to purchase an Authentic Pizza Oven, everybody in my circle was excited in anticipation of that eventual invite!

I also was very excited myself since we were remodeling our backyard. It was a perfect time to design an outdoor kitchen with a wood-fired oven as its main feature. Having a traditional wood-fired pizza oven has been on my mind since I was an older teen. I worked at a pizzeria with a woodfired oven back then and I have been thinking of building one myself someday.

Today, years later, it has manifested. Yay!

Pizzaioli Premium Oven

Which oven did you choose and why did you choose an Authentic Pizza Oven?

I originally wanted to build the oven myself but after coming up with the outdoor kitchen design, I considered a pre-made oven that seemed so available and popular these days. So I called Authentic Pizza Ovens and spoke to Amber.

At that time, I was looking at the red Maximus Prime Oven because of its large internal cooking capacity, however, after researching further, I found the more traditional Pizzaioli Premium Pizza Oven to be the exact oven I wanted. I saw it on a different platform and was going to purchase from it, but after I got a follow-up call from Amber and advised her of my findings, she informed me that they are the actual distributor of this oven!

Their price point was unbeatable and I was more than happy to purchase from her. I've been completely satisfied! The oven is as advertised and cooks a pizza just like the oven at the pizzeria I worked for years ago. I love the entire process and timing involved to successfully come up with the eventual Neapolitan pizza; making the dough the day before, starting a fire, and building the temperature of the oven.

The simplicity of this process allows me to enjoy a little wine and entertain my guests around the outdoor kitchen. What an exciting build-up for the light, airy, and crusty pizza we all have been waiting for. A very common compliment I get is "It's the best pizza I have ever had!"- I agree! Who am I competing with, Costco pizza, Dominoes?

Most people have never had this type of pizza or been involved in this experience before. After all, how many people do you know that have a woodfired pizza oven at home?

Pizzaioli Premium Oven

Did you build your setup or have someone else do it?

I designed the setup and my wife Kristina decided on the location in the backyard, and we think it came out crazy awesome. We hired Pete DePalma of Islands in the Sun BBQ, Inc. to build it. Pete also recommended us to Authentic Pizza Ovens which affirmed we made the best decision purchasing with them!

Dough recipe Phil Williams

Phil's Recipes

Pizza Dough Recipe

Pizza dough has different hydration content, the more hydration the lighter and airy the pizza is. I prefer mine at 68% hydration. That means 100% flour, 68% water, 2% sea salt, and .04% instant yeast. This is your standard dough recipe. I pick 68% because it's the most water I can incorporate that still allows kneading to be manageable, anything more takes so much work and time to knead it from really sticky to ready.

I use instant yeast so I can just throw it in the flour as opposed to active dry yeast which you have to soak in warm water first to activate it. I also use 00 flour, this is the flour pros use for pizza. Lastly, I measure by grams for accuracy.


1000g flour
680g water
20g sea salt
4g instant yeast


1. Knead for 10 min, place in a container, cover, and let it rise and ferment in the fridge overnight.

2. 4 hours before you will be making pizza, form 270g dough balls and put it in a container, and let it rise again at room temperature.

3. For the sauce, I simply open up a can of San Marzano tomatoes and add some of the garlic and olive oil from the garlic confit. Blend them till smooth.

Garlic Confit

Garlic Confit


1 Whole garlic, remove each clove with the peel still on.
1 cup of Olive oil
Fresh herbs you like, I like rosemary, oregano, and thyme
Salt and pepper

Simmer in a small pot for 45 min.




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