The Big Change The Pioneer Woman Fans Have Noticed During The Pandemic

Ree Drummond is known for having a down-to-earth personality and offering her viewers unique takes on her favorite recipes. Like her spicy shredded pork dish that features a popular soda that you might have heard of — Dr. Pepper. She wrote on her blog that you won't regret trying this meal because it's a "fun and sweet/spicy concoction of Dr Pepper and chipotle peppers" that turns out to be a "lovely combination." Her fans have also raved about it, with one writing on Food Network, "I am a caterer and every time I prepare this meal, I get 5 star reviews. Ree deserves all the credit. Perfect." 

It appears that while The Pioneer Woman might have a distinctive cooking style, audiences can't get enough. Even during the pandemic viewers have been tuning into her popular show to get some creative ideas to add to their repertoire, but some have noticed that Drummond seems to be acting differently (via Reddit). They've even come up with some theories about why the celebrity chef might not be acting like herself.

Fans believe Ree Drummond has been acting less "stiff" on camera

The original Reddit post asked others if they had noticed that Drummond seemed more "loosened up" during her recent episodes. They speculated, "Maybe it's because of covid or because her kids are grown so her homeschooling/idyllic family vibe has run its course." Other viewers were quick to respond with one saying the television personality seemed much more relatable. "I've always liked her recipes, but kinda cringed a bit at some of her stiffness, she never seemed comfortable," they wrote. "Quarantine Ree is just so light and fun!!"

Different redditors also believed her more carefree attitude could be attributed to her having a smaller production team because of COVID-19 protocols, which could create a more intimate and comfortable atmosphere. Either way, fans seem to love the new easygoing energy that Drummond is putting out. Seems like whatever the show has changed, viewers are enjoying it.

What it was like to visit The Pioneer Woman set before the pandemic

The show is typically filmed at the lodge that's located in Drummond's hometown of Pawhuska, Okla., where fans are able to tour the set (via The Pioneer Woman). Viewers that come to visit in person can see the famous cook's kitchen, prep space, prop room and office. "We invite people to poke around and open drawers," Drummond said. "Although sometimes I wish I had them organized a little more!" She also explained that she loves when fans leave her sweet messages after stopping by. "Those notes and trinkets warm my heart," she wrote. 

One couple that was able to visit the set said that they had fun poking around in Drummond's pantry and seeing the different products she used, per Postcard Jar. They even noticed she had budget-friendly items like ramen and canned frosting, which made them realize how humble the cookbook author really is. "We can't thank the Drummonds enough for opening their lodge to visitors like us and sharing so much of their lives with complete strangers," the pair wrote on their blog about the experience. "Not every best-selling author and TV celebrity would do that. But then again, Ree Drummond is not your every day celebrity." However, since the spread of COVID-19, things look a little different on set these days.

Ree Drummond's family helps to film the show

After the pandemic hit, Drummond and her roughly 20-person crew had to rethink the way The Pioneer Woman was filmed, according to Southern Living. In order to keep everyone safe, Drummond decided to enlist the help of her family. Her daughters, Alex and Paige, have now become part of her production team, which likely explains why she seems so much more relaxed on her show. The cooking host revealed on her blog that her girls take turns operating the camera and are doing a great job. "I think they just have a sense of my rhythms, so they can anticipate when I'm going to want them to zoom in on the food and so forth," she said. 

The celebrity chef also explained her nephew Stuart and her daughter's fiancé, Mauricio, are also a part of her newly formed crew. The pair alternate taking still photos and make sure the wide shots look perfect while they're recording. Drummond explained that as the months have progressed, they've felt a little more comfortable letting more people on set. However, it's still only an eight person production crew, which the chef said she's fine with. "In between recipes, it's all hands on deck—the kids help clear out the dishes and food from one recipe and help set up the other," Drummond said. "It's a team effort!"