Not that I am an expert on this, but I was a fry cook back in the 80's.
Heat lamps have two issues from what I can see, first is that they radiate heat in a circle, so covering overlapping zones means many more lamps, where wire or a heating element can just be aligned closer.
Second is that they are very expensive both cost and power consumption. Now I know our power is paid for, but still I think to get the 20 lamps we would need to build a larger table, it makes much more sense to go with the NiChrome or with what Jude had originally thought was to raid the elements from a couple of old electric ovens.
Now I know we can find ovens on Craigslist, or Freecycle, but it of course would be more work than the Wire. I do have some free time at the moment, so if we want to go with stoves, we can talk to Jude who had a couple of possible sources and pick those up, or find others.