In my experience red oak has a reddish tinge to the wood colour, while white oak lacks the red and is more brown. You can see photos of the woods if you Google.
I am certain that boat builders do not like red oak because it will turn
black when it gets soaked especially around fasteners, as they react with
the tannin in the wood.
Regarding smoke, I have no idea. Firewood sellers probably don't know nor
care about the differences. For firewood, the heavier the wood, more heat is
released by the wood. This is why high density woods are prized for burning
and are often more expensive.
- posted 4 years ago