[view] • Charcoal is a very efficient method of fuel for smelting. It is made by smelting Wood in a furnace. As well as sharing a similar appearance, charcoal acts exactly like coal, and likewise can also be used to make torches and power minecarts. Charcoal and coal cannot stack with each other and neither can be changed with a texture pack. Charcoal is the best choice if you can not find coal anywhere near you, which is rare but possible.
Charcoal can be created by burning/smelting wood as the ingredient in a furnace.
Charcoal was stated by Notch to be a name class edit of coal.
The texture for Charcoal was changed in 13w19a and in 0.8.0 for Pocket Edition.
It is more useful to burn logs with coal in a furnace, because each coal will smelt 8 pieces of Charcoal.
The crafting interface in the PS3 edition has two crafting recipes for torches and fire charges, one with coal and one with Charcoal. The two recipes are in the same column of the same section of the crafting interface, and have (coal) or (charcoal) to identify which one is which.