Eight continuous culture fermentors inoculated with ruminal liquor from heifers fed a 50:50 alfalfa hay:concentrate diet (17.6% crude protein, 28.0% neutral detergent fiber) were used in 3 replicated periods to study the effects of cinnamaldehyde (CIN) and garlic oil (GAR) on rumen microbial fermentation. Treatments were no additive (negative control); 1.25 mg/L (MON) and 12.5 mg/L (MON10) of the ionophore antibiotic monensin (positive control); 31.2 mg/L CIN (CIN) and 312 mg/L (CIN10) of CIN; and 31.2 mg/L GAR (GAR) and 312 mg/L (GAR10) of GAR (Allium sativa). The MON10 caused expected changes in microbial fermentation patterns (a decrease in fiber digestion, ammonia N concentration, and proportions of acetate and butyrate; an increase in the proportion of propionate; and a trend to increase small peptide plus AA N concentration). The CIN decreased the proportion of acetate and branch-chained volatile fatty acids (VFA) and increased the proportion of propionate; CIN10 decreased the proportion of acetate and increased the proportion of butyrate compared with the control. The GAR10 increased the proportion of propionate and butyrate and decreased the proportion of acetate and branch-chained VFA compared with the control. The GAR10 also increased the small peptide plus amino acid N concentration, although no effects were observed on large peptides or ammonia N concentrations. The CIN and GAR10 resulted in similar effects as monensin, with the exception of the effects on the molar proportion of butyrate, which suggests that they might have a different mode of action in affecting in vitro microbial fermentation.