In your hand fire charges only act as an inefficient one use flint & steel.
What about adding additional functionality by letting them also instantly cook or smelt one item?
For example, craft together a fire charge and a raw pork chop and get a cooked pork chop. Craft together a block of cobblestone and a fire charge and get a block of smoothstone. Craft together iron ore and a fire charge and get an iron ingot. Etc. Since there are only two items you could cook or smelt anything without needing a crafting table.
Since fire charges are a bit costly to make this shouldn't be too powerful, but could be handy if you need to either smelt or cook instantly with no waiting time, or if you're smelting or cooking while traveling and don't want to place a furnace.
Sure- I'd want to waste a blaze rod on a piece of pork.
Why the hell not?
Obviously crafting fire charges just to cook pork is extremely inefficient.
Their advantage isn't in efficiency though, but in flexibility. Neat cooked meat? You've got cooked meat. Want to produce smoothstone or glass on the spot? Bam, it's ready. Mining and want to craft a new iron pick right away? Spend a few fire charges and your newly collected ore is ready to become a new pick.
So no, it's not efficient. It's powerful. A lot of late game Minecraft isn't about survival, but about ease, flexibility, and might. The ability to smelt anything anytime right away is pretty potent, and justifies a high crafting cost.
Besides, blaze rods aren't nearly as valuable as you assume. There's an unlimited supply after all. A fire resistance potion can make you immune to blaze attacks, negating all risk in harvesting rods. And you can also build traps that let you slaughter blazes even without potions.
Why are blaze rods that valueable anyways? On a server, there was iconomy plugin. Heres to give you an idea of how valuable blaze rods were. Diamonds were worth 700 of the currency. Blaze rods were 800. Then i made a blaze farm that requires snowballs that lowered the blaze rod price to 100. People were getting stacks of rods. So i'd be worrying about the gunpowder more than the rods.
Anyways, i'm pretty sure fire charges should be able to cook stuff. Not sure if it should be furnace or crafting. Your ideas pretty good.
If you are that established in your world and have enough resources that you can use fire charges to smelt one thing instantly like they're nothing...then you should be able to do this.
Exactly. It's a shortcut, a good way of saving time by quickly using up excess coal, gunpowder, and blaze powder.
A lot of minecraft is using up finite resources in order to save yourself time, for example mining through smoothstone with an iron rather than stone pick. If you're low on iron you might save your iron pick just for mining ores in order to preserve it. If you're iron rich, why not blow a little bit of it on saving yourself some minutes?