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red oak smells like cheese

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

  1. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    I much prefer the smell of white oak to red. White oak is sort of nutty, red oak is sour. It does vary a lot though: quartered a whole bunch of red oak rounds today, and didn't smell much of anything.

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  2. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I've had some crotches where water got in and rotted the wood and different fungii and things were growing in the wood could smell pretty bad.
    I've had one or two crotches smell bad enough with big thick gobs of white stuff that actually looked like cottage cheese that I dragged them off into the woods.
    Clean red oak wood smells nice though if you ask me - like a just sanded brand new with no stain or finishing solvents redwood hardwood floor.
  3. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    Red oak = cheap white wine

    My favorite is Black Birch - gotta love that wintergreen
  4. krex1010

    krex1010 Minister of Fire

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    Yeah I think they use white oak in wine casks right?
    And yeah black birch smells great, I always liked the smell of sassafras, smells like Trix cereal
  5. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    That's not something I would tell anybody about. :lol:
  6. bsearcey

    bsearcey New Member

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    Red Oak smells good. White Oak smells great. I just smell.
    ScotO and osagebow like this.
  7. krex1010

    krex1010 Minister of Fire

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    Soap and water is good for that!
    ScotO likes this.
  8. bsearcey

    bsearcey New Member

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    :kiss: :sick: :red:
  9. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Ha !
    A good adianoeta to start the morning with a good laugh.


    Throw that in the splitter.
  10. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    I googled red oak and cheese and stinky, because these pieces I split really smelled (stank) of uber-aged locatelli romano but much stronger yet. I had them in the van for a few days during a rainy period, and they stank the inside of the vehicle out.
    The "pong" of the wood lingered even after I took them out.

    They stank when I first split them, and again later, I split some of the large splits into smaller splits (today) and they smelled just as strong of over-aged sheep's milk cheese.

    I'm even speculating about slicing off a few strips of this wood off, to throw on barbecue in spring just to see what they might impart to the meat. I could put a patty or two on the Weber and end up with something that tastes like a smoked cheeseburger, without actually using any cheese!!! JK ;)

    Now understand that I like locatelli romano and other aged Italian cheeses, including gorgonzola, but this red oak smells 20% stronger yet than super aged romano.

    I have to sniff it now and then, just to believe what I am smelling.

    It's a bit nauseating in a lactic acid-gone-wild kind of way, but compelling at the same time. It's like a train wreck that you got to watch—but in this case it's stinky cheese wood that you just got to sniff. Reaaaaally cheesy.

    [​IMG]
    Gark likes this.
  11. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    I've always said that freshly cut red oak smells like Fromunda cheese.
  12. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Member

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    Yesterday I cut a truck load of oak and didn't have time to unload when I got home - and parked my loaded truck in the garage.

    My wife goes in the garage - "The garage stinks! What in the H is that smell?!?"
    Thistle, ScotO and OldLumberKid like this.
  13. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Not surprising that some find it smelling like whiskey or wine - both are aged in oak. Oak certainly has an odor that is distinct as do most woods and learning to identify splits by odor can be a big help when you are presented with a barkless scrounge of X type wood and want to decide if it is worth the effort??
  14. mikey517

    mikey517 Member

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    Smells like money in my pocket to me!
    ScotO likes this.
  15. Brewmonster

    Brewmonster Burning Hunk

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    White oak (not red) is used for whiskey barrels, but it's the red oak that smells like whiskey to me, and I love it. White oak has a blander but delicious sawmill/lumberyard kind of smell with a little bakery whiff thrown in.

    Reading this thread makes me wonder if it's the wood that is so widely variable or if it's just people's perceptions.
    ScotO likes this.
  16. Brewmonster

    Brewmonster Burning Hunk

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    Thanks for this! Always something new to learn at Hearth.com.
  17. Fod01

    Fod01 Feeling the Heat

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    I split a few rounds from a tree with a bad carpenter ant infestation. Wow. The smell off that stuff was horrible. My son kept yelling 'THEM!'
  18. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    I love the smell of freshly split red oak! Not sure what exactly it smells like though. I like the smell of white oak also. I much prefer the smells of these woods to the smell of poplar and locust, the two worst smelling woods in my opinion.
  19. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    White oak smells absolutely fantastic when C/S/S'ing, IMO. Has a vanilla-ish, freshed baked bready kinda smell. Red oak kinda reminds me of the Olive Garden House Italian salad dressing, with lots of fresh grated aged Romano cheese on it. Truth is, I love that salad dressing, so I have to admit I love the smell of red oak too! Some are, however, a LOT stronger than others.

    Would I want a fresh load of it stacked in the backseat of my wife's minivan for a week in the middle of July? NO!!
    But I love to walk through the backyard and catch a whiff of that drying in the summer breeze. Like some other members already said, SMELLS LIKE MONEY IN THE BANK!
    Senatormofo likes this.
  20. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Green (to a lesser extent dead but still damp) Red/Black Oak really stinks,like a cross between mouldy Provolone & my feet after wearing boots 12hrs on a hot August day.:p

    White Oak has that wonderful vanilla-ish/caramel scent,especially when fresh cut,not quite as much when dry.Reminds me of top shelf aged Bourbon or Single Malt Scotch.Love sawing/shaping White Oak in the shop,Black Walnut & Black Cherry is a close 2nd for pleasant aroma.
  21. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I think this analogy just officially ruined my liking that stuff!!;sick
  22. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Red oak certainly has a unique smell. Most of the time I can't really put my finger on what it smells like. Not having anything to associate it with makes me just feel like it smells "bad". But sometimes it is just so gawd aweful that I remember why it's often referred to (around here at least) as "piss oak"
    Thistle likes this.
  23. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Provolone isnt supposed to have mould,when its right I love the stuff too,I like it even better than mozz on a sandwich or pizza most of the time.

    Though a mix of Gorgonzola,3yr aged parmigiano reggiano (stravecchio) & Swiss Gruyere makes some of the best ravioli filling I've ever ate! Not to mention fondue on a bitterly cold winter night! Just dont tell my Doctor. ;)
  24. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I love the smell of freshly split red oak in the morning. You know, one time we cut a hill full of red oak for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find a single elm, not one stinkin' split. The smell, you know that stinky cheese smell smell, the whole hill. Smelled like . . .
    [sniffing, pondering] . . . victory. Someday this winter's gonna end...

    :)
  25. lab17

    lab17 New Member

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    I like the smell of freshly cut and split Red Oak, never had a bad one. Today I was cutting an old burr oak and walk to the top of the hill where my dad was cutting a fresh white oak and the whole woods up there smell of that sweet white oak, that smell can't be beat!
    Senatormofo, Thistle and ScotO like this.

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