Besides crafting, Minecraft players need to make an efficient functioning system for their smelting needs.
Smelting is used to cook better food and to get valuable ores for armours, weapons, and tools.
When you’re just starting in the game, a simple Furnace is all that you need.
However, if you’re into a bigger project, you might need a better Furnace (Smoker or a Blast Furnace).
To run these furnaces, you would need to have a steady fuel source.
There’s a lot of blocks that can be used as a fuel for smelting.
Did you know that you can even use your spare fences, stairs, or saplings for a quick smelting?
Almost anything can be used as fuel, but there are blocks that are more efficient than others.
I tested some of the best-known fuels in the game by cooking steaks with one block per fuel.
Here are the nine furnace fuels that you can use in your survival Minecraft world or server.
The Bamboo is a recent addition in 1.14.4 and can only be found on Jungle biomes.
It is one of the fastest-growing plants in the game, which is also the reason why a lot of players create bamboo farms.
In the test, a single bamboo block was not able to cook a single steak.
It took four blocks to cook a single one.
Bamboos can actually give infinite energy if you used hopper and a Redstone contraption.
But because of its rarity and effort needed to be done to be useful, bamboo is in the bottom of the list.
Planks are easy to find, all you have to do is to craft a single log.
Automatically, you will receive four wooden planks.
A single plank can only cook one single steak.
This method can be used if you are low on resources or if you don’t have the means to mine for better resources (e.g. spawned in a single island).
However, if you have a better source, it’s more advisable to use planks for building.
Probably the easiest fuel to get early in the game.
It’s also likely the first block that players get to make a Crafting Table.
Although logs can only cook one piece of beef per block, it is faster compared to planks.
A log can burn an item for only 15 seconds while planks will need a minute.
Additionally, you can smelt charcoal from wooden logs, which is an even better fuel for furnace usages.
Charcoal is the item you can get from smelting a piece of log.
This item can cook eight pieces of steak, a good enough food if you’re going on a mining trip.
It’s a great fuel source if you don’t want to make a trip down the mine to find coal.
You can use it to create torches which is very useful especially if you just started a new world.
If there’s a disadvantage in using charcoal, its the fact that it can get your inventory filled up pretty fast.
Just like charcoal, coal can cook eight pieces of steak in just one block.
Smelting and cooking speed is the same for both coal and charcoal.
What makes coal better than charcoal is that you can craft block of coal to save inventory or even to make a better fuel source.
Another purpose for stacking up coal is for trading in villages. Coal can only be mined from coal ores.
4. Blaze Rod
Blaze rods are obtained by killing blazes in the Nether.
A single block can cook 12 pieces of steak, which is already enough for a trip to a village for trading.
But is it worth the trip to Nether to collect blazes for fuel?
The answer is…yes if you have a blaze farm and you need to make a brewing stand and eye of the ender.
Otherwise, there are better fuel options from the Overworld to use for smelting.
It’s better to reserve your blaze rods for your Eye of the Ender and strength potions.
3. Dried Kelp Block
Dried Kelp Block can be crafted by using nine pieces of dried kelp, a food item from smelting kelps.
Basically, one Dried Kelp Block needs a lot of work to be crafted (getting kelps from the sea and smelting it).
Your patience and effort will be rewarded with one of the best fuel sources in the game.
A single Dried Kelp Block can cook 20 pieces of steak.
2. Block of Coal
A block of coal can finish cooking a whole stack of steak.
However, it can do more than a full stack, with up to 80 items for 13 minutes of smelting.
Compared to using nine individual blocks of coal, one block of coal is 111.11% or 1 1/9 more efficient.
Unfortunately, you can’t use a Block of Coal for other purposes such as making a torch or as a crafting material.
You can’t also use the block for trading. Before you can use it in other purposes, you need to craft it back to coal.
1. Lava Bucket
It should come as to no surprise that the Lava Bucket is the best fuel source in Minecraft.
It can last up to 16 minutes of smelting items nonstop, which is likely more than what you need in a normal survival game.
The lava bucket can smelt 100 items in its lifespan, which is more than a stack.
You can literally cook all the food that you need to prepare your weapons and armours until you finally have decent armour and tools.
But finding lava is dangerous, so is it really worth it?
This is where a Nether portal is handy.
Take your buckets and refill your lava supply in the Nether.
The bucket will not be consumed and will remain in the furnace after all the lava is consumed.
To maximize the fuel usage, use a smoker (for food) or a blast furnace (for ores).