A sturdy two-quart saucepan, a 10-inch sauté pan and an eight-quart stockpot are three essential cookware pieces ideal for the typical home cook, according to Real Simple. These three cookware items are suitable for most any cooking task a typical home cook will undertake.
Saucepans are useful for many reheating tasks, especially soups and pasta sauce, but they are also good for making sauces and cooking rice. Copper saucepans are considered optimal. Sauté pans are used for numerous stove-top cooking tasks, such as sautéing vegetables, meats and poultry, making sauces, and stir frying. Only steel or cast iron sauté pans are oven-safe. Stock pots are excellent for making soups or stocls and boiling pasta.