Originally Posted by Gnaws on Pigs
Red oak is good wood. Green red oak does have a bit of a small, but for that matter, nothing smells nastier than green cherry wood. Cherry has a really nasty bitter hydrocyanic acid smell until it seasons.
Another thing to consider: We talk about red oak and white oak. There are a lot of different species of each that are lumped into those categories. Just here in my area, "red oak" can mean northern red oak, southern red oak, scarlet oak, black oak, shingle oak, shumard oak, willow oak, and a few more. "White oak" wood in my area can be actual white oak, swamp white oak, chestnut oak, post oak, or swamp chestnut oak. Each one is a distinct species and area all probably subtly different, but I haven't tried any of them for cooking yet that were bad.
Most red oaks planted in my area over the last twenty or so years are Shumard Red Oak. The other very common oak is Live Oak, which is native to North Texas.
I have some large branches aging in my backyard of both Shumard Red Oak and Live Oak -- branches pruned in my neighborhood.
By early summer, I should have enough of both seasoned to do a side-by-side comparison.