Thanks Bear. That helps me understand a little better I think. I didn't know about the 39 to 135. I've only seen the 40 to 140 in 4.
So let's see if I have this straight.
As long as fish, meat, or poultry is brought to the 140 IT in under 4 hours, then after that it doesn't matter if it takes another 2 or 3 hours to hit the safe temp for that food type.
If a turkey had reached 140 in under 4 hours, but needed additional 2 to 3+ hours to reach 165-180 mark, it would still be considered safe because it reached the 1st mark in under 4 hours, and hit the final mark before being consumed.
Do I have it right?
And this would apply to any meat, whether cured or fresh? Just hit the 1st mark in less than 4 hours, and then 2nd mark before consuming.
And using a cure is just for added safety and flavor in some meats.
I think I am beginning to understand. Somebody needs to turn the light bulb on over my head now. :)