How to Make (and Use) a Barrel in Minecraft

In Short
  • To make a barrel in Minecraft, you will need two wooden slabs, six wooden planks of any type, and a crafting table.
  • For the crafting recipe, fill the left and right columns with planks and place the slabs in the center slots of the top and bottom rows.
  • As for the uses, you can utilize the barrel to store items, decorate your build, turn a villager into a fisherman, and more.

Inventory management in Minecraft can be pretty rough. Luckily, apart from the inventory space you have, the game provides a bunch of ways to store your belongings through containers. Among them is one block that’s frequently used in many different scenarios, thanks to its appearance and properties — the barrel. It’s the block we have dedicated this whole guide to, so get ready to learn what the crafting recipe for the barrel in Minecraft is.

Items You Will Need to Make a Barrel

To make a single barrel, you will need the following ingredients:

Planks and slabs are fairly straightforward to get. You can break down a log into 4 planks and then place 3 of them in a row on the crafting table to craft 6 wooden slabs.

Crafting recipes for oak planks and oak slabs

Chopping down three logs should give you enough of the required resources, including the crafting table. For making a barrel, you can use wooden planks and slabs of any wood type and also combine them.

Minecraft Barrel: Crafting Recipe

After you make or find some planks and slabs, follow the steps below to make a barrel in Minecraft.

  • Place the crafting table in your world and right-click it to open its UI.
  • Start this recipe by placing a slab in the central slot of the topmost row.
  • Next, place the second slab in the central slot of the bottommost row.
Different wooden slabs placed in the center slots of the topmost and bottommost rows of the crafting grid
  • After that, you need to completely fill the left and right columns with planks, so only the central slot of the grid is empty.
  • And that’s it. You will now see the barrel item in the result slot on the right.
Completed crafting recipe for a barrel in Minecraft

Alternatively, you can also use the new crafter block in Minecraft 1.21. Most steps are completely identical, with the only difference being the final crafting action. You’ll need to power the crafter once (using a redstone signal) for it to spit out a barrel item.

Where to Find a Barrel in Minecraft World

Barrels can occasionally generate in your blocky world. However, there’s only one location where you will find it in your Minecraft world, and it’s the fisherman houses in villages.

Barrels will regularly generate naturally in these buildings, turning villagers into fishermen. But the villagers cannot get enough of this block, so you’ll even find it in the chests of these houses. There is about a 24% chance that the chest will contain up to 3 barrels inside.

Best Ways to Use a Barrel in Minecraft

1. Container Block

The primary use of a barrel is to store items inside. Its inventory space is equal to that of a single chest in Minecraft. Also, you cannot place barrels one next to each other and have them combine their inventories into a double chest’s.

Then the question is, why would you use a barrel instead of a double chest? In Minecraft, barrel is a solid block, unlike a chest. That means you can place it wherever you want and still be able to access its inventory if you can right-click on it. So, using a barrel is a lot easier than using a chest or a double chest.

Player's and barrel's inventories

2. Decoration & Building

Barrel’s texture and ability to rotate in all different directions make it one of the most frequently used decorative blocks in Minecraft. Its primary wood color matches almost perfectly with spruce wood, arguably the best wood type in the game. This makes barrels a great detail you could add to your spruce constructions.

Moreover, thanks to the fact you can access the barrel’s inventory easily, it is often presented as a loot storage option in many mini-games. On the more simple side, however, the barrel also looks like a crate, which makes it great for decorating docks, massive cargo ships, or the basement of a tavern build.

3. Villager Workstation

Another major use of a barrel is that it’s the workstation block for one of the villagers. If you place it down near an unemployed villager, they will turn into a fisherman. This villager job may seem a bit useless, but one of their best trades is the campfires. This ordinary block can get super expensive to craft, so having another way of obtaining it is rather useful.

Fisherman villager next to a barrel

If you reached the end of this guide, congrats! Now you know everything you need to know about a barrel in Minecraft. We’ve included the uses of this block in this guide as well. With that, what are your thoughts on this block? Do you like storing items in barrels or would you rather use them for decoration? Let us know in the comments below!

How do you make an open barrel?

You cannot really make an open barrel, at least not in a legit way. Perhaps, due to some glitches in the game, you can obtain this block, but it shouldn’t be possible.

How do you make an oak barrel?

There is only one version of a barrel and it’s the same no matter what wood type you’re using.

Which is better barrel or chest?

As we’ve mentioned, it’s up to you which container you want to use. Chests are great since you can make a double chest by combining two chests, which will increase the container’s storage capacity. However, you cannot use a chest in a certain situation, so a barrel is essential in such cases. You will find ways to use both of these containers, so they’re both very good.

Do barrels give a redstone signal?

Since barrels are containers, redstone comparators can read their contents and emit a redstone signal accordingly.

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