In Love with Charcoal

For years, and I mean YEARS, I thought the only way to craft torches in Minecraft was to get sticks and then mine coal before combining the two into lifesaving light. The number of times I’ve started a new world and spent the first few nights in darkness in a hovel because I couldn’t find coal (or sheep) is just not funny. Note that sticking a sheep on a stick does not make a torch.

I don’t know whether I came across the recipe when I was looking at something else or if I simply thought, ‘Hey! I wonder what happens if I use charcoal on a stick. The point is I only recently discovered this wonderful new fuel!

Take a stack of logs for example. Using just one log in a furnace, you can ‘smelt’ one charcoal. Now take that lonely lump of partially burnt wood as use it as fuel on the logs and soon you will have 8 charcoal from that single lump. Now use a single log to craft 4 planks and subsequently 8 sticks and bingo, bango – you have eight torches. More than enough to light a hovel so you can craft the night away!

So no more worrying about mining coal in the first day – all I need are trees and a few cobblestone!

Of course this got me wondering what all can you use for smelting, here’s what I’ve tried so far…

  • Carpet – 3 carpet to smelt one item
  • Wool – 2 wool to smelt one item
  • Wooden Tools – 1 tool = 1 item
  • Bamboo – 4 bamboo to smelt one item
  • Sticks – 3 sticks to smelt one item
  • Planks – 1 plank = 1 item
  • Logs – 1 log = 1 item
  • Charcoal – 1 charcoal = 8 items
  • Coal – 1 coal = 8 items (which is interesting)
  • Blaze Rods – 1 rod = 12 items
  • Block of Dried Kelp – 1 block = 20 items (note kelp has to be smelted first!)

These numbers aren’t exact so you may get slightly better returns but until you have a kelp or blaze farm going, i.e. much later in the game then a quick fix to a shortage of coal is to start smelting logs to make charcoal and then use the charcoal to smelt logs. In no time your world will be ‘lit’.

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