I stick the prongs in the stem near the bud. Getting a decent reading from a bud doesn’t work for me.
If the bud feels dry and the stem still bends (moisture 16%?+_) I put them in a tote to finish drying
Yes I close the lid. The moisture is low enough and I feel safe doing it. The exterior of the buds feel dry to the touch but there is still moisture in the stems and inside the buds. The time in the tote allows the remaining moisture to be distributed into the flower and extends the drying time a couple of days. The 16% is my recall from a faulty memory but should be close.
Besides totes, other use paper bags. The goal is the same… slow down the process.