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Three local dads share love of barbecuing

Three local dads share love of barbecuing


POSTED June 27, 2009 4:46 p.m.
The Journal put the call out several weeks leading up to Father’s Day asking for families to nominate their dad as the King of the Grill. Three dads were nominated, and it was too hard to pick just one. So all three of these men now proudly hold the title of “King of the Grill.”
A true King of the Grill had to meet a few qualifications. First, he could not be a mere amateur barbecuer. Our Kings of the Grill had to be masters of rubs, sauces and smokes. They had to be men who could draw crowds with their cooking. Most of all, our Kings of the Grill had to be dads. This is a Father’s Day story, after all.

Steve Knapp
Steve is a top contender for the King of the Grill title because he built his own barbecue island from the ground up. The outdoor grilling station includes lights, a stereo system and a refrigerator. Steve’s unique grill is a Traeger wood pellet grill which he outfitted with headers from Tony Schumacher’s top fuel dragster. When Steve uses the grill the smoke actually comes out of the parts taken from the drag racer.
“We are huge NASCAR and NHRA drag race fans,” said Steve’s wife, Marcie Knapp.
Steve took his love of grilling to a new level when he and his brother opened a custom barbecue business a few years ago. They built outdoor grilling areas and custom barbecues for two years.
“He just went a little over the top with the one he built at our place,” Marcie said.
Steve and Marcie have five children, all between the ages of 20 and 26. Once a month they have family dinners to get their children and their four grandchildren together. Steve barbecues dinner for these family get-togethers. He also makes dinner on the grill at least three times a week, according to Marcie.
Steve’s barbecuing draws quite the crowd every year on the fourth of July. This year the Knapps are expecting at least 50 to 60 friends and relatives at their Independence Day barbecue.
“He just loves to go in the backyard and fire up the grill. That’s where he loves to spend his time,” Marcie said.

Howard Knapp
A love for grilling must run in the Knapp family, because our next King of the Grill is Howard Knapp, Steve’s uncle. The two also share a recipe for grilled jalapenos that is popular with their families.
Howard’s wife, Pat Knapp, said that Howard likes to grill just about anything, but especially Mexican food. He grills about three times a week and recently barbecued oysters for a group of friends. Howard has a built-in barbecue on the patio that he built himself. He cooks on a Traeger grill.
Howard has two children, six grandchildren, and one great-grand child.

David Brown
Our last, but certainly not least, King of the Grill is David Brown. David is a father of two young girls, Morley, 8, and Aislinn, 4. Like our other two Kings of the Grill, David uses a Traeger as his main grill. He also has a charcoal and a gas grill, which his wife Kellie says is mostly a backup for when he runs out of room on the other two.
Not too long ago, David got the chance to grill for a larger than usual crowd. He took his Traeger grill up to the Modesto Savemart for the company picnic, where he grilled lunch for all of his coworkers.
David’s daughter Morley said that her favorite thing that her dad cooks is hot dogs. She likes it when her dad grills because he also goes swimming with her and her younger sister.
“He’s the greatest dad,” Morley said.
Kellie Brown said that her husband is an excellent father, and that he shares in the parental responsibilities. She also joked that when they retire, David will be doing most of the cooking.
“The kids say they like his cooking better than mine,” Kellie said.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail agoodwin@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.
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