Well I went to wally world yesterday, aka Walmart, and couldn't seem to find any electric single burners. The closest things I could find was a camping one that runs on propane tanks, and a hot plate. I ended up swearing for about ten minutes and grabbed the hot plate.
When I got home I tested it out and it's actually pretty quick. In about 3-5 minutes it hits 500 degrees according to an infrared thermometer. Which is kind of surprising since its a dreaded GE Electronics product (I hate this company and it's products with a passion).
Anyway, since my hookah isn't here yet, I'm wondering if you guy's think it'll work for coals. My guess, is it might but the down side is I'll have to flip the coals around to get all the sides ready.
I read that some people have mentioned using them offhandedly, but I couldn't find any specific threads.