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red oak smells like cheese

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by MattB, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. MattB

    MattB New Member

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    So I'm splitting up some red oak, and with a few sticks I get a strong odor. I can't put my finger on it initially, but after a while, I realize that it's a smell very similar to an aged gorgonzola or something. It's not at all unpleasant--I confess to sniffing it multiple times--though others might think it stinks. Anyone else encounter this, or know what might be the culprit? I assume that it's probably some kind of bacteria--the same that you'd find in a rindy cheese?

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  2. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

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    I've noted lotsa different odors coming from oak when cutting it, some good and most not so good. It normally smells like limburger to me.
  3. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I've cut into both liquid vanilla and chunky vommit. Whisky and dirty diapers. Oak is haunted.
    Cross Cut Saw likes this.
  4. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    I run a tree co. and some of the smells that come out of the tree when cut are just not nice. I have been accused of not eating right by the customer when I came to the door for a check, wet pants and smelling foul, it is good for a laugh or two.
  5. eddiebrown

    eddiebrown New Member

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    One of my favorite smells is freshly split oak. My son and I always talk about the smell and what it smells like . We decided it has a sour mash smell much like Jack Daniels. Funny part is we dont drink!.
  6. CodyWayne718

    CodyWayne718 Feeling the Heat

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    The red oak me and my fiance cut up the other day seems to smell like cow manure!!!!
  7. RoseRedHoofbeats

    RoseRedHoofbeats Feeling the Heat

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    I wonder if it has to do with nutrients and elements the tree absorbed over its life?

    ~Rose
  8. hareball

    hareball Member

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    south jersey red oak smells like cat piss :(
  9. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    That's exactly how I describe it: cow manure.

    Well, only some of the red oak I've cut smells this way, particularly pin oak logs with a type of disease.

    The rest of the red oak smells wonderful, IMO. Like oak boards from the lumber yard.
  10. okotoks guy

    okotoks guy New Member

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    I worked at a lumber wholesaler and had to stack dimensional red oak into bins.
    Even though it was Kiln Dried,the lifts still smelled like cat piss. I always wondered
    what it smelled like being burned.
  11. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    Red oak does indeed smell like cheese. Only, not the tasty kinds like cheddar or mozzarella. I'm talking fromunda cheese. You know, the cheese fromunda your toenails. Stuff does burn well when seasoned, though. The oak, not the fromunda.
  12. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    +1 - always wondered about the comments on red oak smell - I love the smell of fresh split red oak - not sure what I'd call it - seems like a unique smell - definitely doesn't smell like poop diapers (I have 3 wee ones), cat urine (had a few cats in my time), or vomit (been known to drink a fair amount!). Cheers!
  13. woodjack

    woodjack Minister of Fire

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    Same piece of freshly split oak: I love it. She hates it.
  14. Wallyworld

    Wallyworld Member

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    Anyone remember the 3 Stooges episode, Moe, Larry, Cheese, Hmmm Limburger. Awesome
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I do not find the smell of oak offensive in the least. In fact, there are not many woods that I do not like the smell of. That hybrid poplar we chatted about recently does come to mind though as one of the foul smelling woods.
  16. DaleZ

    DaleZ Member

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    I always thought it smelled like ketchup.
    Senatormofo likes this.
  17. woodjack

    woodjack Minister of Fire

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    I never thought it smelled like ketchup, but I always thought it smelled good enough to eat.
    "Waiter, I'll have the Seasoned Oak with a side of Ash." :lol:
  18. dlaurinaitis

    dlaurinaitis New Member

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    The stuff I just cut up smells like pickles.
  19. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I think the Jack Daniels stuff is actually white oak, which is used for the barrels (all barrels really) to cure the whiskey.
  20. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    Red oak does have a very strong odor, but I have to say that I've never been able to say it smells just like "X," whatever X may be. Every time I work some up, I try to pin down a firm answer, but I just can't seem to find anything that it really equates to in my mind. In fact, I split some this weekend, and I still can't truly decide. I guess I can only say that it definitively smells like...red oak. Helluva fuel when properly seasoned, though.
  21. Rockey

    Rockey Minister of Fire

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    Hmmm it tastes like chicken to me.
  22. golfandwoodnut

    golfandwoodnut Minister of Fire

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    smells good to me.
  23. ohio woodburner

    ohio woodburner Feeling the Heat

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    smells like money in the bank to me, which smells pretty darn good!
    ScotO likes this.
  24. Badbob

    Badbob Member

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    some times standing dead oak smells like pisswood
  25. krex1010

    krex1010 Minister of Fire

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    I always associate oak smell with wine. I kinda like oak smell. And oak works great in the smoker, adds a great aroma and flavor to pork, beef and venison.

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