Iron is Minecraft’s reliable mid-game crafting material, making tools and armor that are as sturdy and effective as they are easily replaceable. This middling metal can be found — in no short supply — at medium depths beneath the surface of the overworld. The range of depths in which Iron can naturally generate is very large, but it can be found faster and in much larger numbers if you know exactly where to look.
Where to get Iron in Minecraft 1.19
In terms of blocks deep, Iron ore blocks can spawn anywhere from Y levels 72 to -64. This makes it so that you have a chance to find some of it anywhere from the surface to the bedrock layer at the very bottom. You can view your current Y level from the debug screen, which you can open by pressing F3.
While you have a chance of finding Iron virtually anywhere underground, the extreme highs and extreme lows of its spawn range have a much lower chance of yielding it. This chance increases the deeper you mine from the surface and the higher you climb from bedrock, reaching its highest around the exact middle of the range. In practice, Iron spawns most frequently at a Y level of around 15.
One method of finding reliable Iron is to descend to this depth manually and dig yourself a two-by-one block strip mine in any direction. However, as the sculpted cave designs introduced with Minecraft’s Caves and Cliffs update naturally reveal more blocks, you may have an easier time spotting Iron while spelunking in a generated cave.