Ree Drummond Reveals What You Don't Get To See On The Pioneer Woman - Exclusive

Ree Drummond, better known to millions of fans as "The Pioneer Woman," has been the host and star of the eponymous Food Network show for a decade now (via IMDb). As such, viewers have had the chance to watch endless hours of Drummond (along with family, friends, and guests) cook, chop, and chat away on episode after episode of the show's 28 seasons (via Food Network). But life hardly stops when the cameras aren't rolling — in fact, neither does production of the show.

In contrast to many TV personalities, who are vague or even guarded about what goes unseen on their shows, during an exclusive interview with Mashed, Drummond was perfectly forthright about what happens behind the scenes on "The Pioneer Woman." This frankness is in keeping with her general approach to her life and work, both of which center on helping others enjoy their own time here on earth as much as possible via the medium of delicious food. The first thing she was clear about? Not all the food you see on TV is actually cooked as the cameras roll.

"[One] thing I'll point out, that's a little bit of a behind the scenes, is that a lot of times on food shows, mine included, if you see a beautiful closeup of a dish being cooked while I'm also cooking, sometimes those are two different versions and two different batches. We sometimes do a whole dish [separately] and then they cut them together. So just a little inside info," Drummond shared.

Production of The Pioneer Woman is a family matter

Ree Drummond has always made her kids and husband a part of her professional life, featuring them on her show and in her books; but with the challenges COVID-19 created for production of "The Pioneer Woman," Drummond began to rely on her family for help behind the scenes as well as on camera. "During the pandemic, I actually started filming with my kids because my crew is from the U.K. and they still haven't been able to come back and start filming again. So Food Network gave me permission to use iPhones and my kids and I have gone on to film over 50 episodes that have actually aired on Food Network. So they have seen a lot behind the scenes in terms how the sausage is made."

The same is often true in other ways, such as when Drummond counts on the kids to help with live shopping events like one she recently hosted with Walmart. "A live event isn't necessarily new to me, but a live on new technology with interactive shopping and my daughters helping me kind of show things and model things [is]. There are ... a lot of moving parts, but again, I think that's what's so fun about it."

Ree Drummond prefers to be off the cuff

"I do best during live off the cuff events like [the Walmart shopping event], and I'm not very good at being natural when I have a big plan or a script," Drummond told Mashed. "So part of that is I think why I've enjoyed filming my show with my kids through the pandemic months ... we just kind of film it as it happens, mistakes and everything. So that's the fun part for me."

This type of natural, unscripted interaction is also why The Pioneer Woman can hardly wait for life to return to post-COVID normal. "I'm looking forward to having events again, book signings or just appearances in my small town. I have a store, a bakery, and restaurant, and we've been opened but I haven't been in to have meet and greets, obviously just to avoid congregating too many people in one space. So I'll really look forward to that and just interacting with fans ... that's really what I'm looking forward to the most is just meeting people who have supported me through the years, watched my show, and just kind of chit chatting with them."

Be sure to keep an eye out for Ree Drummond's new cookbook, coming to stores in October 2021.