Back in the first days of survival mode in Minecraft, food was just there to recover health. There was no hunger level of any kind, making it a huge request by the Minecraft community. In the adventure update of 2011, hunger was added, as well as a few other things.
Since then, farming has become a staple of any survival world. Even if you spend a lot of time dedicated to producing crops, it can be tough to get a real grasp of your resouces. Long adventures are particularly tough, running out of food is a nightmare.
Are you focusing your efforts on the best food items? You might only be focusing on how much food level your item restores, rather than considering the saturation level which is just as important!
Do you understand the difference between food level and saturation? This is important. If you’re having trouble keeping your food bar topped up, saturation is likely the culprit.
Saturation is a hidden value, eating more saturated foods will deplete your hunger level slower. Eating a variety of foods in a specific order can further increase efficiency. I’ll be going through all this in each entry!
10. Dandelion/Blue Orchid Suspicious Stew
Saturation: 7.2 (+ bonus saturation from Dandelion or Blue Orchid)
Mushroom Stew is another great food item, easily available as mushrooms are quite common in caves and biomes. However, you can add any flower to the crafting recipe of mushroom stew, to make a suspicious stew. Adding a Dandelion or Blue Orchid adds extra saturation, keeping you full for longer. You can see the full list on the wiki.
9. Cooked Salmon
Craft yourself a fishing rod and head to some water for 20 minutes, you’ll get a decent supply of fish. Salmon is the best overall, filling 3 hunger levels and providing some decent saturation. There’s a 25% chance you’ll find salmon while fishing, which is a relaxing exercise you can do to take a break from cave exploring!
8. Cooked Mutton
Sheep drop 1-2 raw mutton chops, making it one of the more common food items you can stock up on. Found all across most biomes, Sheep are easy to find and breed. Every survival play-through needs some space dedicated to animal keeping.
A little tip if you didn’t already know, if a Sheep burns to death, it’ll drop cooked mutton instead!
Requiring 3 milk buckets, 3 wheat, 2 sugar and 1 egg, Cake is one of the most costly food items to craft. Eating a full Cake will provide far more sustenance than any other food though, filling 7 hunger levels on its own. In terms of saturation, you’ll want to compliment cake with other high saturation foods for maximum effectiveness!
6. Golden Carrot
Weirdly, golden carrots provide more saturation than any other food item in the game. A balanced meal of golden carrot, some meat and sweeter foods like cake or cookies are perfect.
Finding herds of cows is not uncommon, they’ll provide a great source of beef and other useful items. Able to drop between 1-3 raw beef upon death, or steak (cooked beef) if they burn to death. You can also feed steak to wolves if needed, to make them mate or grow up faster.
Filling up 4 food levels by itself is pretty awesome, especially combined with the high saturation level.
4. Cooked Porkchop
Completely identical to the previous entry in terms of stats, cooked porkchops are another good food item. I put it higher because it’s slightly more efficient to get, requiring carrots to breed pigs, rather than wheat (which is a useful item itself) for cows.
3. Rabbit Stew
A rather large recipe list is justified by the highest food/saturation combination of any food item in the game. Rabbit Stew needs a Cooked Rabbit, Baked Potato, Carrot, Mushroom and Bowl. Typically a more end game item, you won’t stock up chests with Rabbit Stew until you have multiple farming and breeding stations.
You should definitely aim to make this your main source of food, alongside high saturation foods for easy hunger management!
2. Golden Apple
While you’re out adventuring, exploring caves and tackling mobs, the Golden Apple is one of the best food items you can get. Although it doesn’t restore that much hunger, at a measly 2 food levels, effectiveness comes in different ways. It’ll instead heal up to 2 hearts over a few seconds, as well as providing 2 absorption levels.
To craft a Golden Apple, you’ll need to surround an Apple with 8 Gold Ingots. Alternatively, you can find this item in chests in places like Strongholds, Igloos, Underwater Ruins, Dungeons, Desert Temples, Mineshafts and Woodland Mansions!
More uses come in the form of curing zombie villagers. If you hit them with a Splash Potion of Weakness, you can use a Golden Apple on them to turn them into a normal villager. Also useful for breeding horses.
1. Enchanted Golden Apple
No longer craft-able, you can only acquire Enchanted Golden Arrows via loot chests. Like the normal Golden Apple, you’ll very rarely find this food item in Dungeons, Desert Temples, Mineshafts and Woodland Mansions.
Eating this food will provide 8 hearts of absorption health, heal 2 hearts of health and provide 20% resistance to everything for 5 minutes. Naturally, the Enchanted Golden Apple is a food item you can always count on to fix any problems your character is facing!