Smelting is an important crafting process in Minecraft. It is used to make dyes, cook foods, make glass, and extract important ores like iron.
The heart of the smelting process is a furnace (or blast furnace) and there is fuel. Fuel is what powers the smelting process, i.e. burning, and coal is the easiest to obtain and most commonly used fuel in Minecraft. That said, there are other fuel blocks you can use.
Charcoal in Minecraft
As a fuel, charcoal is as efficient as coal, and 5 times more efficient than wood planks. It is not found in nature and must therefore be manufactured. Charcoal materials are easy to obtain and craft, but when you compare it to coal, it becomes a much more expensive fuel to use for smelting.
Charcoal has other uses than as fuel such as being used to create a campfire, a soul torch, and a rechargeable flame.
How to create Charcoal in Minecraft
To make coal, you need;
- Wood planks or coal (or any other fuel e.g. seaweed)
- An oven
To make charcoal, you need to melt the wood. Any type of wood will do the job. Find the nearest tree and take as much wood as you want to make charcoal. A block of wood will give you a lump of coal.
- Open the oven.
- Place the wood in the fuse box.
- Put your preferred fuel in the fuel slot.
- Collect coal when the process is complete.
Another method to get coal
If you happen to find a campfire, say in a village, and you have a tool (ax) with a silk talisman, you can use it to light a campfire and it will drop two charcoal. It goes without saying that this is a tedious method of getting coal, especially if you plan to use it to light campfires around your base.
Charcoal was added to Minecraft in 2010, however, at the time, it didn’t do much. In fact, it looks like coal and you won’t know if you have coal or charcoal in your inventory then. Since then, it has changed quite a bit, both in terms of what it looks like and what it can do. Coal now looks different than coal and is an ingredient in 3-4 different items. Charcoal is available in all versions of Minecraft (Java, Bedrock, etc.).