The efficacy of methane (CH4) suppression using medium‐chain fatty acids (MCFA) remains inconclusive, despite a number of studies on this topic are available. We thus carried out a meta‐analysis to integrate the published data on different concentrations and types of MCFA such as lauric acid and myristic acid, which investigated ruminal methanogenesis and fermentation in in vitro and in vivo experiments. In vitro MCFA sources were classified either as pure MCFA (lauric acid, myristic acid and their combinations) or as natural MCFA‐rich oils (canola oil enriched with lauric acids, coconut oil, krabok oil and palm kernel oil). The MCFA sources used in the in vivo studies were coconut oil, lauric acid, myristic acid and the combination of lauric and myristic acids. A total of 41 studies (20 in vitro and 21 in vivo studies) were compiled in our database, which included the data on CH4 emission, digestibility, ruminal fermentation products and microbial populations. The results showed that the amount of CH4 production per unit of digested organic matter decreased linearly under in vitro conditions (p < .01) and tended to decrease quadratically under in vivo conditions (p < .07) with increasing doses of MCFA. Populations of protozoa (p < .01) in both in vitro and in vivo responded negatively in a linear manner, whereas Archaea population diminished quadratically (p = .04) only in the in vitro conditions with increasing doses of MCFA. Increasing dietary MCFA concentrations also reduced the fibre digestibility linearly (p < .05) in both in vitro and in vivo conditions. CH4 production for different sources of MCFA decreased in following order: coconut oil > lauric acid > myristic acid > mixed lauric and myristic acids > palm kernel oil > canola oil enriched with lauric acids > krabok oil. It can be concluded that the effect of MCFA on ruminal methanogenesis depends on the amount and type of MCFA.