Why Is Ree Drummond Also Called The Pioneer Woman?

Ree Drummond has made a name for herself in the culinary world. Since the celebrity chef launched her blog in 2006, she has become a star in the Food Network, the author of ingenious recipes such as cheeseburger meatloaf, and an entrepreneur in the kitchenware industry. In fact, her brand has become so popular that many people simply refer to her as "The Pioneer Woman." But just how did this nickname for Drummond come about, and why has it remained so relevant in her career? 

According to her website, this term of endearment began way before Drummond began to publish recipes online. When she announced to her family that she planned to move to the countryside after marrying, many people in her close circle couldn't even fathom it. Drummond relocated to Los Angeles right after she finished high school, and she initially planned to settle in Chicago before she met her husband, Ladd. Her friends fondly referred to her as a "pioneer woman" for leaving the city life and moving to Oklahoma, where she would soon have to learn the ins and outs of life on a ranch.

Like the pioneers, Ree Drummond had to learn outdoor skills

While Ree Drummond has expressed few regrets during her culinary career, she has not shied away from admitting that it took her some time to adapt to the countryside. At the Oklahoma ranch, which accounts for 433,000 acres of land, she had to learn many outdoor skills like waking up really early during the summertime to handle cattle or breaking ice with an ax. This short period of time actually brought back her "Pioneer Woman" nickname, but not from her close friends and family in the city.

For approximately four months, Drummond actually did not have working faucets at her ranch. Because of an issue related to her home's water pressure, the celebrity cook actually had to transport and boil buckets of H2O just to clean her dishes. When her nearby ranch neighbors saw her in action, they referred to her as a "pioneer woman" for having the dedication to find and treat her water like the people on the Oregon Trail hundreds of years ago.

When Drummond started her blog, she decided to use the nickname as part of her brand. Originally titled "Confessions of a Pioneer Woman," she used the Internet to keep in touch with her mom and document life on the ranch. Her fanbase grew considerably in the following years, garnering more than 20 million viewers by 2011, and her nickname has become synonymous with her name and brand since then.

After launching her blog, Ree Drummond became a culinary icon

When the Food Network initially reached out to Ree Drummond to star on their channel, she hesitated. In an interview with Delish, The Pioneer Woman shared that she initially did not feel comfortable being in front of a camera — after all, her culinary career began as a writer. She finally accepted the Food Network's offer after they allowed her to film on her ranch. Drummond and her team began to film episodes in The Lodge, a large guest house on her property, and continue to use this location today.

Viewers quickly fell in love with Drummond's resourcefulness as she shared her many hacks, including a simple way to cut pineapple and her recipe to make ice cream cake with store-bought ingredients. By 2016, she would go on to enter the dining industry by opening a two-story restaurant, bakery, and department store titled "The Pioneer Woman Mercantile," which remains in operation to this day. In a 2020 article on The Pioneer Woman website, Drummond said she believes that "anyone can be a Pioneer Woman" if they are willing to adapt and follow their dreams — inspiring words from one of the biggest stars in the culinary world.