Here's an update: I have both an inside the oven ambient air thermometer and also an IR thermometer. The oven temperature dial shows …400, 425, 450, 475, 500, Broil, Clean. There's a separate mode dial to select Bake, Broil, Clean. With the mode set to Bake and the temperature dial set to 500, the ambient air temperature when the target is reached and the light goes out is 500. When I set the temperature dial to Broil, the temperature goes up to 550 and when I set it to the furthest point past Broil, to just before the light goes out if I go any further, the air temperature goes up to 575. That is the setting I use for making pizza.
As to the stones, my pizza stone is an inexpensive 13" diameter model I picked up from the local BBB. It is 1/4" thick. When setting it on the bottom rack, it's temperature as measured by the IR thermometer is 675 after the oven's been on for approximately an hour and before I place the pizza on it. The temperature of the 15" terra cotta plate on the next rack up is 625.
I have a very simple dough recipe I extrapolated from a recent NY Times article which first got me interested.
-1.5 cups all purpose flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp instant yeast
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 cup room temperature filtered tap water
I place dry ingredients in a food processor and give it a quick mix. Add water and olive oil and process for 30 seconds. Remove and form ball and store overnight in airtight oiled container. Remove from fridge two hours before use. I stretch it out to 12" diameter and then coat the top surface with olive oil.
For tomato sauce I use Palmieri Pizza Sauce because it tastes good and it has low salt content. I do add a bit of red wine vinegar to the sauce to increase the zest. For cheese I use quartered slices of aged whole milk mozzarella and shredded parmesan, but not too much as I need to maintain a heart healthy diet. I found fresh mozzarella too bland.
Cooking time is about six minutes and I top the resulting pizza with chopped up basil. Result is good. I'm ready to start experimenting with other recipes, but I want to ensure I have the best oven set-up. One of my concerns its that the resulting pizza stone does not have much thermal capacity and loses a lot of heat when the cold pizza is first placed on. My goal is crispy crust on bottom and the edges crispy on the outside and chewy inside.
Here's a picture of my current oven setup: