Testing wood with moisture meter -- moist on outside but good on inside

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New Member
Nov 17, 2022
Good afternoon!
This is our first year burning and I had a question about measuring our wood with a moisture meter. We have a bunch of wood that was dropped off from someone locally. He claimed it is seasoned (but who knows, right?); We did take the meter to it and it's reading as good to go on the inside split face, but the ends are too moist (as well as the exterior side). The readings we're getting are roughly 17-19% on the split face, and the ends/bark reading closer to 21-25%.

Are we OK to burn this wood or should we let it sit until next year? Everything I've read states to take the reading from the split face as the ends may be falsely giving lower readings, but we're having the opposite issue here.

If it helps to give this info, we are using the meter on the split face in multiple places, running with the grain, and stabbing into the wood best we can (typically an 8th to a 4th of an inch).
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This can be due to the storage of the wood and exposure to the elements. It may have gotten rained on or sat on the ground. If the worst case you are seeing is the outside of the wood @ 21% then it's ok to burn. The core moisture is more important. If you can bring the wood into the house for 24-48 hrs. before burning it may shed that 2-3% outer moisture. Strip the wettest bark off if it is 25% or set aside those splits under top cover for burning later.
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Thanks so much for the suggestion, we did this and it worked great. We have a shelf in the same room with the stove where we placed the wood (anything below 23) and it reduced siginificantly within a couple of days. I tested a bunch today and the worst I saw was 20.something after about 48 hours, after testing several pieces.
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