Originally Posted by tpope
I will use red oak in a pinch... so long as it is well cured. Red oak in my area smells like the tom cat marked his territory. White oak is always a go to.
Yep, red oak has that smell fresh, but not burning. I've had some really good food cooked on red oak coals. For that matter, cherry is one of the nastiest, bitter smelling woods out there when it's fresh. It has a really strong unpleasant odor. And has hydrocyanic acid in it. The leaves will kill cows if they're wilted, it's that toxic. But people love it for smoking.