If you’re really 13, I’m really impressed. I have a 12 year old son who is very impressive, but even with a WFO in his garage and some amazing food experiences for his age, you come across as more knowledgeable about pizza. I also don’t think he can write as well as you. You have my respect for your passion and maturity at a young age.
Niceties aside, here are my thoughts on your question: Only a WFO is a WFO. Yes, you can bake some great pies in a 2-stone or any number of WFO simulants, but they will never be a WFO. I pulled some very good pies out of my BBQ mod (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9614.0.html
, as examples), but I always knew that it would take a WFO to really get to where I wanted to go. I’m getting close (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14249.msg193257.html#msg193257
) – a lot closer than I would be if I only had my BBQ.
I’m sure you know that not all WFOs are the same. You can spend $1,500 or you can spend $15,000+. If you decide to go with a WFO, the next decision is probably even tougher – which one? Just like the question “should I go with a WFO,” only you can answer which is right for you. We can give you input based on what you tell us you want to accomplish, but you need to put some long and hard thought into it. What do you want to accomplish? How much will you use it? Is it a passing fad? Will you still be this focused on pizza in a couple years when dating takes center stage. Do you really even know the answers to these questions? It’s a big decision and potentially a very expensive one. You need to think long and hard on the pros and cons. Also, think about what else you could do with a couple thousand bucks.
There is no doubt in my mind that a focused 13-year old, with some supervision, can handle a WFO. I also believe it is something you could have great fun with, and you could gain skills that would serve you for the rest of your life. A WFO is a great way to make and impress friends. But what about your options? Would you be happy with a 2-stone or will you hate it every time you use it because you wish you had a WFO? They are not cheap either. Also, don’t discount the pies you can make in your oven as Scott noted above. Under no circumstances would I encourage you to hack your home oven. Don’t even think about it.
Is pizza the real deal for you or a passing fad? I had some very strong interests when I was 13 – they even lasted for several years, but they are generally not things that interest me today. It would be a shame to spend a lot of money on a WFO only to lose interest some years later.
It’s probably not what you want to hear, but my recommendation to you is to ask your parents to invest the money the WFO you would want would cost in your name. Then, learn to make the best pies you can in your home oven. When you are 22, if you are still as passionate, get the WFO you want and have a good bit of extra cash to go with it. I didn’t “discover” pizza until I was in my late 30’s. I didn’t buy a WFO until I was in my 40’s. Waiting until you’re out of college for a WFO won’t hurt you.
Feel free to ask me any specific questions you might have about WFOs or other options.