To survive your first night in Minecraft, it is important to be able to see in the dark. Torches are a necessity to prevent mob spawns, and finding coal can sometimes prove to be difficult depending on which biome you begin in. Luckily, no matter where you spawn, chances are you will have trees nearby. This means you can light your surroundings with charcoal.
Unlike coal, charcoal is renewable and you never have to worry about running out in the late stages of the game provided you can find saplings. Given that saplings are nearly infinite, this means that charcoal is too!
The primary ingredient to make charcoal is to burn wood logs. Trees can be found almost anywhere and each log will yield one charcoal.
A furnace can be made with eight cobblestones, and as long as you do not spawn in the sky, you can always dig down to find more stone.
You will also need a fuel source; if coal is too difficult to find you can always use any wood-based item.
In a Nutshell:
To make charcoal, place a wooden log in the top cell in the furnace GUI. Then, fill the lower cell with your choice of fuel such as coal, wood, etc. Wait for the arrow in the middle to fill. Now that your charcoal has been made, simply click the green dye and drag it into your inventory.
Here is the step-by-step pictorial guide you need to follow to make Charcoal in Minecraft:
Step-1 To begin, start by tracking down a tree. Any tree will do from the classic oak tree to the acacia or jungle trees.
Chop down the tree of your choice. Your hands will do the trick just fine.
Step-2 Once you have obtained your wood logs, turn a log into planks. With your four planks, you can now make a crafting table. A detailed guide on how to make a crafting table can be found here.
Step-3 Place your crafting table and make a pickaxe to gather some stone. Gather at least eight cobblestones and make a furnace in your crafting table. Place your furnace and as long as you have leftover wood you can now make charcoal. Open your furnace and place your wood logs at the top.
You can fuel it with any leftover wood. If you are worried about efficiency, logs and planks will cook 1.5 items. It is much more efficient to turn logs into planks for fuel, as logs will make four planks and they have the same cooking efficiency.
Leftover sticks can also fuel your furnace yielding 0.5 items per stick. Since two planks make four sticks you would lose cooking time by breaking it down further. Therefore, it is most efficient to use wooden planks
Step-4 Place your fuel of choice below the logs and wait for the logs to finish cooking.
You now have charcoal ready for use!
How to use Charcoal in Minecraft?
Charcoal is very similar to regular coal in Minecraft. You can use your charcoal to fuel your furnace for the same cooking time as coal. This means after your first piece of charcoal has been cooked you can use charcoal to make more charcoal.
You can turn charcoal and sticks into torches just like regular coal and with that, you can light the area around you.
You can also use charcoal in place of coal for a campfire.
The charcoal will burn for the same amount of time as coal. Each charcoal will burn for eight items. Just like regular coal, it is very exact so make sure you have all eight items in the furnace at the same time, or else you may end up with only seven.
Many recipes that require coal can be swapped out with charcoal. The difference is found in interactions like villager trading. Many villagers will only accept coal and do not recognize charcoal in trades. So you should use charcoal for mundane recipes like torches or for fueling your furnace.
Charcoal lacks the ability to be turned into blocks like regular coal. This means you can’t save on space with charcoal but it remains as efficient as coal in fueling your furnace.
Congratulations! You now have the survival knowledge to light up your first night even without mining coal. Charcoal is an item many players overlook, but it is a simple solution when running low on coal. It can prove to be invaluable when coal storages eventually empty out.
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