I remember gonzo guys like you ruining dinner for my hungry kids camping. Specifically, I recall rock hard biscuits the kids could not even bite into and something akin to Girl Scout Stew that was crunchy. And, I recall a Scouting event where a Cubmaster brought a pork shoulder along that had been sitting in his cooler for a day and a half. Cooked in two hours, it was like rubber. Probably unsanitary too.
When it was my turn I made Philly cheesesteak sandwiches for 20 sauteed on a couple of cookie sheets. They burst into flames but the charred edges of thin sliced steak was a hit. Cleanup - 10 minutes.
So get yourself a Dutch Oven and spend the day trying to regulate the temperature of an open fire. Ask Hashbrown to give you some pointers. He's the expert.
I'm gonna Risk it
UP(UnderPowered), will there be young kids involved or just adults ?
If kids I would tend to be instructual and cook it all onsite .
If all adults, I would be shut up and eat it .
That said UP were I cooking a meal to feed 12 it would likely be chili and the 6 pounds of cooked weight meat would have been browned and frozen before I left the grid for the boonies .
The rest of the ingredients can be added on site if you want to be fancy and it would be cooked in well under an hour .
Work smart, not hard right ?
Do you now own a DO(Dutch Oven) or have a big pot to cook in ?
Easy peasy .
There will be Kids, my niece and Nephews are going.
One big issue....I don't like Chili. Darn sure not gonna make something that i don't like.
No on the Dutch oven. Just a few regular cast iron skillets and some grill grates.
We bake and cook anything that you can make at home. It's all about heat management.
Exactly as i suspect.
I am often a little too blunt. No offense intended.
I just know that the cook, who is essentially the host for the meal has one responsibility: to be sure that the guests have a good time and are well fed. I've cooked for 20. Its hard.
It should never be about me putting on a show or demonstrating my own skills. And, I am not there to give the folks an experience they have not had before so as to improve their lives. They can sign up for the zipline for that. I am at their service. And, trying some experiment and then tossing dogs and smores on the fire if it doesn't work is simply not ok. Sorry. Too blunt again. The OP asked for advice but probably not what I have offered. Its still good advice.
OP, do something you know how to do and do well. Save the show for a time when it is not dinner for 20, but just you and the missus.
Blunt is Just fine. I tend to come off a bit more brash than i intend at times as well.
i've cooked for large groups, just never over an open fire.
i guess this is where i differ, i'd rather risk doing something great that they have never had at a campsite before with the chance of it bombing than simply play it safe.
No risk, no reward, right? So risk it all. Good advice it is, but not what i am after.