How to Make Charcoal in Minecraft

The player looking at charcoal in a furnace menu and at torches in a crafting menu.

As the night approaches in Minecraft, you will need some way of lighting up the darkness. If you can’t find or make one, you might end up stumbling around blindly. Charcoal can help you make Torches to stay well lit.

Table Of Contents

    What You Need to Make Charcoal

    The left image is an oak log being burned in a furnace and the right is a piece of charcoal that was made from the burning oak log. There is an arrow pointing from the left image to the right.

    You will need 3 things in total to make Charcoal: a Furnace, a Wood Log, and fuel for the Furnace. Here’s a breakdown of how to use these three items to make Charcoal:

    1. Make and place a Furnace
    2. Put any kind of Wood Log into the top slot of the Furnace
    3. Insert any type of fuel into the bottom slot of the Furnace
    4. Wait until the arrow between the left slots and the right slot of the Furnace turns completely white
    5. Pick up the piece of Charcoal that appears in the right slot

    How to Make a Furnace

    You can make a Furnace by placing 8 blocks of Cobblestone in a ring on a Crafting Table. In the Bedrock Edition of Minecraft, you must use Cobblestone in the crafting recipe. However, in the Java Edition, you can use any kind of stone in any ratio to make a Furnace.

    How to Get Wood Logs

    Wood Logs are the resource that you get from punching or chopping down trees. Be sure not to confuse Wood Logs with the Wood Planks that you turn them into. Wood Planks can’t be turned into Charcoal.

    What You Can Use as Fuel in a Furnace

    Any kind of wooden item or block can be used as fuel in a Furnace. It doesn’t matter what you use when making Charcoal as all fuel sources are treated the same. You can use Wood Planks, Wood Logs, or even Doors, Stairs, and other pieces of furniture. However, other pieces of Charcoal, as well as Coal, can be used as more efficient fuel sources.

    The Differences Between Charcoal and Coal

    The player with charcoal and coal in their inventory. Charcoal is a dark brown lump and coal is a black lump.

    Charcoal and Coal look very similar to one another and can be used for similar functions. However, they aren’t interchangeable in every situation–just most.

    The Differences in Appearance

    While the differences between each item are slight, they do exist and you can notice them by looking closely. Charcoal looks dark brown and seems to be a bit bulkier while Coal is a very dark gray and is slightly pointier at the top.

    The Differences in Function

    These differences are minute as well, though are still worth noting to avoid confusion. If you plan to do some trading with Villagers that accept Coal, you won’t be able to use Charcoal as a replacement. Furthermore, you can’t combine Charcoal with Coal into the same stack of items.

    All of The Uses for Charcoal

    The player making torches from charcoal and sticks at in the inventory menu.

    The most important use for Charcoal will initially be as an ingredient in making Torches. Torches are useful for lighting up the darkness, which prevents monsters from spawning nearby. Coal is also used for Torches, but since it takes a bit of luck to find it, you may have to make do with Charcoal for a while. Additionally, another of the major functions of Charcoal and Coal is as a fuel source for your Furnace.

    Using Charcoal to Make Torches

    To make a batch of 4 Torches, you will have to use one piece of Charcoal (or Coal) and a Stick. Place the Charcoal above the Stick in a crafting menu to get your Torches. This lighting tool can be made either in your inventory crafting screen or on a Crafting Table.

    Using Charcoal as a Fuel Source in a Furnace

    Each piece of Charcoal will last for 80 seconds when placed into a Furnace as a fuel source. This is the same as Coal, though, both last more than 5 times longer than wood items used as fuel.

    All Items Besides Torches That Can Be Crafted With Charcoal

    ItemCrafting Components
    Campfire1 Charcoal
    3 Sticks
    3 of any matching Wood Logs
    Fire Charge1 Charcoal
    1 Blaze Powder
    1 Gunpowder
    Soul Torch1 Charcoal
    1 Stick
    1 block of Soul Sand or Soul Soil