I'm f%#ing kidding fer chrissakes.
Yes I have a janky electric stove circa 1950 in my little two bedroom apartment. The kind with the funny coils that glow orange. This is the kind of thing you can't even admit around foodie folk, so I'm confessing this to you.
So I can't modulate the flames, but I have found a few useful things.
Always start it on High no matter what, or else you'll be standing and staring down at the thing for half an hour.
That done, with iron skillets or steel pans, "HIGH" becomes frickin HOT, so get ready to go down to MED HIGH and MED, then back up to MED HIGH often. And if things start to smoke and your deep frying oil is about to ruin your nice stainless steel All-Clad with that polymer burnoff thing, just REMOVE PAN FROM HEAT. Another seemingly obvious but-never-really thought-about-it-that- much thing I learned at Kitchen on Fire. Things getting hectic, oil burning while you chop that garlic you shoulda prepped? Just take the pan off the heat... No big deal. Remove pan and breathe.
So before I fall asleep tonite, for all my poor fellow electric stove brethren, i'll brag about the grilled cheese sandwich I made tonight on mostly the MED and then LOW settings.
1. Melt a pad of butter on HIGH, the after it sizzles, turn down to MED HIGH
2. Put sandwich in. Then turn to MED, then LOW. Slow and low, slow and low is the key to a perfect grill cheese.
3. When side one is golden, lift out of pan, plop in more butter, turn up if you need to for it to melt and sizzle, replace sandwich. Wait, slow and low, Do some dishes so you're not tempted to mess with it. LOW... When the second side is golden brown, it should be nice and oozy inside.
So the moral of this one is, use what you have. Life gives you a nice AGA gas range? Flambe your damn cherries with Kirsch and roast your red peppers on the open flame. Me, I'll make another grilled cheese for now.